Definition of inability in English:



  • with infinitive The state of being unable to do something.

    ‘his inability to accept new ideas’
    • ‘There have been occasions, too, when his inability to hold his tongue has got him into trouble.’
    • ‘The use of mouthwashes is not advised in young children due to their inability to spit.’
    • ‘He quit soon after, apparently in frustration at his inability to control the situation.’
    • ‘As the disease progresses, total paralysis and the inability to speak or swallow result.’
    • ‘He has suffered a nervous breakdown probably connected to his own inability to relate to others.’
    • ‘I'm very good at borrowing things but suffer from a complete inability to give things back.’
    • ‘His other key weakness is his inability to detach himself from his players and put them under pressure.’
    • ‘He cursed himself for his weakness, for his inability to remain angry with her.’
    • ‘They laughed the loudest of all, making me feel a lot less guilty about my own inability to resist joining in.’
    • ‘With me that manifests itself as a clamming up, an inability to talk about what's important.’
    • ‘He winds me up no end with his seeming inability to view anything from any other perspective but his own.’
    • ‘He never goes to extremes and has no vices, except for the inability to pass up a bargain.’
    • ‘Do they show a manipulative attitude to nature, or an inability to be content with what they are given?’
    • ‘Perhaps the pitch contributed to their inability to play any decent football in the first half.’
    • ‘He says his resignation was triggered by his inability to form a new Cabinet.’
    • ‘The frustrating part has been their utter inability to communicate with anyone.’
    • ‘Aristotle said that the inability to feel shame is the ultimate proof of a wicked character.’
    • ‘His inability to understand basic statistics is enough for me to distrust him completely.’
    • ‘Those who know him insist he's driven by an utter inability to accept defeat.’
    • ‘As a result of his inability to cope he said that he was drinking too much and covering up his inability to run the store.’
    lack of ability, incapability, incapacity, powerlessness, impotence, helplessness
    View synonyms