Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

inability

play
noun in·abil·i·ty \ˌi-nə-ˈbi-lə-tē\

Simple Definition of inability

  • : the condition of not being able to do something : lack of ability

Full Definition of inability

  1. :  lack of sufficient power, resources, or capacity <his inability to do mathematics>

Examples of inability

  1. She has shown an inability to concentrate.

  2. the inability of the government to cope with the problem



Origin of inability

Middle English inhabilite disqualification, from Medieval Latin inhabilitas, from Latin in- + habilitas ability


First Known Use: 15th century


INABILITY Defined for Kids

inability

play
noun in·abil·i·ty \ˌi-nə-ˈbi-lə-tē\

Definition of inability

  1. :  the condition of being unable to do something :  lack of ability <He laughed at my inability to sing.>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up inability? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 6, 2016

an official order, decree, or edict

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

duvet kittly-benders pince-nez spindrift
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ