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unable

[uhn-ey-buh l] /ʌnˈeɪ bəl/
adjective
1.
lacking the necessary power, competence, etc., to accomplish some specified act:
He was unable to swim.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English; see un-1, able
Synonyms
See incapable.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for unable
  • Even when both partners seem willing, males are often unable to consummate the affair.
  • We seem to be bent on destroying every single resource and unable to talk our way out of doing so.
  • Hogan would spend another pain-filled month in the hospital, unable to leave his bed.
  • My family is unable to locate any information on him.
  • Curie was now unable to afford the element she had discovered.
  • My goal was to make the audience laugh but leave them unable to describe what it was that had made them laugh.
  • Plagued by gout, rheumatism and vascular problems, he was often in pain and unable to walk.
  • The moon came up and they found themselves unable to talk.
  • Moreover, at the outset they were naturally unable to adapt themselves to the special and peculiar needs of their condition.
  • Toward morning they found themselves unable to feed the fire, which gradually died away.
British Dictionary definitions for unable

unable

/ʌnˈeɪbəl/
adjective
1.
(postpositive) foll by to. lacking the necessary power, ability, or authority (to do something); not able
2.
(archaic) incompetent
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for unable
adj.

late 14c., "lacking in ability, incapable," from un- (1) "not" + able. Modeled on Old French inhabile or Latin inhabilis.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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