follow Dictionary.com

Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers

incapable

[in-key-puh-buh l] /ɪnˈkeɪ pə bəl/
adjective
1.
not capable.
2.
not having the necessary ability, qualification, or strength to perform some specified act or function:
As an administrator, he is simply incapable.
3.
without ordinary capability; incompetent.
noun
4.
a thoroughly incompetent person, especially one of defective mentality.
Idioms
5.
incapable of,
  1. not having the ability, qualification, or strength for (a specified act or function).
  2. not open to; not susceptible to or admitting:
    These materials are incapable of exact measurement.
  3. legally unqualified for.
Origin
1585-1595
1585-95; < Late Latin incapābilis. See in-3, capable
Related forms
incapability, incapableness, noun
incapably, adverb
Synonyms
1. Incapable, incompetent, inefficient, unable are applied to a person or thing that is lacking in ability, preparation, or power for whatever is to be done. Incapable usually means inherently lacking in ability or power: incapable of appreciating music; a bridge incapable of carrying heavy loads. Incompetent, generally used only of persons, means unfit or unqualified for a particular task: incompetent as an administrator. Inefficient means wasteful in the use of effort or power: an inefficient manager; inefficient methods. Unable usually refers to a temporary condition of inability to do some specific thing: unable to relax, to go to a concert. 2. impotent, unqualified.
Antonyms
1. able.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for incapable
  • They're convinced painters are incapable of reason and oblivious to real-world matters.
  • His government was also incapable of agreeing on, and then steering through parliament, the necessary measures.
  • The queen bee is incapable of feeding herself or grooming herself.
  • For years, scientists believed that damaged nerve tissue could not be repaired because neurons are incapable of regeneration.
  • West seems virtually incapable of making a bad record.
  • All by itself it renders the project incapable of finding out what the researchers say they wanted to find out.
  • In research labs, captive mothers are often incapable of raising their infants.
  • But these students are completely incapable of explaining why they are doing the research.
  • incapable of finding enough mates to ensure their survival, the dinosaurs were wiped out.
  • People are incapable of organizing groups, planning,and finding inspiration without leadership.
British Dictionary definitions for incapable

incapable

/ɪnˈkeɪpəbəl/
adjective
1.
when postpositive, often foll by of. not capable (of); lacking the ability (to)
2.
powerless or helpless, as through injury or intoxication
3.
(postpositive) foll by of. not susceptible (to); not admitting (of): a problem incapable of solution
Derived Forms
incapability, incapableness, noun
incapably, adverb
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for incapable
adj.

1590s, from Middle French incapable and directly from Medieval Latin incapabilis, from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + capabilis (see capable). Related: Incapably; incapability.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Click to see easier and harder words for incapable

Word Value for incapable

15
20
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with incapable

Nearby words for incapable