9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[in-op-er-uh-buh l, -op-ruh-buh l] /ɪnˈɒp ər ə bəl, -ˈɒp rə bəl/
not operable or practicable.
Medicine/Medical. not admitting of a surgical operation because the pathological condition is not amenable to cure by surgery or because of undue risk.
Compare operable (def 1).
Origin of inoperable
1885-90; in-3 + operable Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for inoperable
  • Below a certain level of precision the inefficiency of the gearing would make the whole thing inoperable.
  • The device, which is in preclinical tests in mice, can be implanted in inoperable tumors during a routine biopsy.
  • We have been told by an oncology surgeon that her case is inoperable.
  • My mechanic told me that the motor is inoperable and must be replaced.
  • She had inoperable ovarian cancer, though she was not told the diagnosis.
British Dictionary definitions for inoperable


/ɪnˈɒpərəbəl; -ˈɒprə-/
incapable of being implemented or operated; unworkable
(surgery) not suitable for operation without risk, esp (of a malignant tumour) because metastasis has rendered surgery useless
Derived Forms
inoperability, inoperableness, noun
inoperably, 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
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Word Origin and History for inoperable

1856, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + operable.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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inoperable in Medicine

inoperable in·op·er·a·ble (ĭn-ŏp'ər-ə-bəl, -ŏp'rə-)
Unsuitable for a surgical procedure.

in·op'er·a·bil'i·ty n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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