Definition of unable in English:

unable

adjective

  • [with infinitive] Lacking the skill, means, or opportunity to do something.

    ‘she was unable to conceal her surprise’
    • ‘If York regulars follow their usual route to the course they will be unable to reach it.’
    • ‘He was attacked by the media and speculation grew that he was unable to cope with crises.’
    • ‘What I have yet to see is a poor dentist living in the rough part of town unable to feed his or her family!’
    • ‘They could also house children who feel unable to live with a family which is not their own.’
    • ‘Surgeons sewed most of the piece back on but were unable to replace a small section.’
    • ‘They were unable to open the door for visitors by pressing the buzzers in their rooms.’
    • ‘A charity shop is to close after a lack of business and rising costs have left it unable to go on.’
    • ‘I am unable to reprint my story here, but if you read some of the links you'll get the gist of it.’
    • ‘It concerns a boy desperate to obtain his mother's love, a love she is unable to give.’
    • ‘He was unable to drive his stepson to school and had to cancel a hospital appointment.’
    • ‘He had claimed it was a new flavouring for saffron rice but had been unable to look me in the eye when he said it.’
    • ‘I remember now at work being unable to do many of my duties when other people were around.’
    • ‘He would have liked more tomato and was unable to finish his meal saying it became too oily.’
    • ‘The job is ideal for those people who would like a bit of extra cash but are unable to fit in many hours of work.’
    • ‘Mr Bubb said that the sisters had been unable to go to the police when they told their mother.’
    • ‘One problem that could occur is if property owners are unable to let out the house.’
    • ‘Bird was unable to engage his gears, but managed to get going and finished at the back.’
    • ‘She was slurring her words and unable to use to her tongue properly to help her make the sounds.’
    • ‘Windermere yet again were unable to put out their best side due to illness and injury.’
    • ‘We have a government that is pathologically unable to say what it is actually about.’
    not able, powerless, impotent, not equal to, not up to, at a loss, inadequate, ineffectual, incompetent, unfit, unfitted, unqualified
    incapable of
    impuissant
    View synonyms

Pronunciation:

unable

/ʌnˈeɪb(ə)l/