Definitions for unableʌnˈeɪ bəl

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word unable

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

un•a•bleʌnˈeɪ bəl(adj.)

  1. lacking the necessary power, competence, etc., to accomplish some specified act:

    unable to swim.

Origin of unable:


Princeton's WordNet

  1. unable(adj)

    (usually followed by `to') not having the necessary means or skill or know-how

    "unable to get to town without a car"; "unable to obtain funds"

  2. unable(p)(adj)

    (usually followed by `to') lacking necessary physical or mental ability

    "dyslexics are unable to learn to read adequately"; "the sun was unable to melt enough snow"

  3. ineffective, ineffectual, unable(adj)

    lacking in power or forcefulness

    "an ineffectual ruler"; "like an unable phoenix in hot ashes"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. unable(adjective)ʌnˈeɪ bəl

    ≠ able

    They were unable to help.


  1. unable(Adjective)

    Not able; lacking a certain ability.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Unable(adj)

    not able; not having sufficient strength, means, knowledge, skill, or the like; impotent' weak; helpless; incapable; -- now usually followed by an infinitive or an adverbial phrase; as, unable for work; unable to bear fatigue

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'unable' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1600

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'unable' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3582

  3. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'unable' in Adjectives Frequency: #205

Translations for unable

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


without enough strength, power, skill, opportunity, information etc to be able (to do something)

I am unable to get out of bed; I shall be unable to meet you for lunch today.

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