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[yoo-zuh-buh l] /ˈyu zə bəl/
available or convenient for use:
2000 square feet of usable office space.
capable of being used:
That saw is no longer usable.
Also, useable.
Origin of usable
1350-1400; Middle English < Middle French; see use, -able
Related forms
usability, usableness, noun
usably, adverb
nonreusable, adjective, noun
nonusable, adjective
reusability, noun
reusable, adjective
reusableness, noun
unusable, adjective
unusableness, noun
unusably, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for unusable
  • Your kitchen will be unusable during this time, so you'll want to work as quickly as possible.
  • With its claw unusable for hunting, the dinosaur presumably had to eat plants or other foods to stay alive while it healed.
  • Some renewable resources can be rendered unusable due to a decline in quality.
  • Even five years later, those buildings remain unusable and un-restored.
  • Reputable recyclers will properly scrap unusable electronics, though they sometimes charge a small fee.
  • Recently, there had been a small fire in the building, rendering the elevators unusable.
  • The fingerprint images have also been reduced in resolution so as to render them unusable except for illustration.
  • We can take resources thought mere decades ago to be unusable and now extract them.
  • Yet the resulting second-generation plastic is generally unusable for making new containers.
  • Useable energy becomes unusable energy through heat loss.
British Dictionary definitions for unusable


not able or fit to be used


able to be used
Derived Forms
usability, useability, usableness, useableness, noun
usably, useably, 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 unusable

1825, from un- (1) "not" + usable.



late 14c., from Old French usable (early 14c.), from user (see use). Not a common word before c.1840. Related: Usably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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