inability

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

Definition of inability 

: lack of sufficient power, resources, or capacity his inability to do math

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Examples of inability in a Sentence

She has shown an inability to concentrate. the inability of the government to cope with the problem

Recent Examples on the Web

To San Francisco cyclists, the blocks that ripple out from the downtown Caltrain station at Fourth and Townsend streets are a galling illustration of the city’s inability to smooth their path and protect them. Rachel Swan, SFChronicle.com, "Bicyclists protest as city plans for safer lanes hit bumps," 13 July 2018 In Fort Worth, lack of income is the number one reason for homelessness among women, just above the inability to afford rent. Tracy Saelinger, Woman's Day, "These 3 Companies Help At-Risk Women and Are Changing the World," 2 July 2018 Mean-spiritedness and the inability to set and respect boundaries. Vanity Fair, HWD, "Laverne Cox Answers the Proust Questionnaire," 11 June 2018 The lack of substantial legislative results last year revealed both deep rifts within the me-first GOP congressional factions and Trump’s inability or unwillingness to act as a real party leader. San Francisco Chronicle, "Both political parties are more dysfunctional than Trump White House," 21 Mar. 2018 The lack of substantial legislative results last year revealed both deep rifts within the me-first GOP congressional factions and Trump's inability or unwillingness to act as a real party leader. Andrew Malcolm, Anchorage Daily News, "Both political parties are more dysfunctional than Trump White House," 21 Mar. 2018 City attempted to sign the Algerian winger in January following an injury to Leroy Sane but were rejected by Leicester due to the lack of time to find a replacement and the two clubs' inability to settle on acceptable fee for the winger. SI.com, "Leicester Set to Reward Star Defender With New Contract to Ward Off Interest From Other Clubs," 11 July 2018 At the center of this debate are the poor and uninsured, who have long been used as scapegoats for their illnesses and inability to pay. Vijay Govindarajan, STAT, "What India can teach the U.S. about driving down the cost of health care," 10 July 2018 One image lamented Brazil's inability to get over the loss to Germany four years ago. Beatrice Christofaro And Marcelo Silva De Souza, chicagotribune.com, "Brazil fans lament World Cup elimination against Belgium," 7 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inability.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of inability

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for inability

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

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Statistics for inability

Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for inability

The first known use of inability was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for inability

inability

noun

English Language Learners Definition of inability

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

inability

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

Kids Definition of inability

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

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Comments on inability

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