Definition of inability in English:



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

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