incapable

adjective
in·​ca·​pa·​ble | \ (ˌ)in-ˈkā-pə-bəl How to pronounce incapable (audio) \

Definition of incapable

1 : lacking capacity, ability, or qualification for the purpose or end in view: such as
a archaic : not able to take in, hold, or keep
b archaic : not receptive
c : not being in a state or of a kind to admit : insusceptible
d : not able or fit for the doing or performance : incompetent
2 : lacking legal qualification or power (as by reason of mental incompetence) : disqualified

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Other Words from incapable

incapability \ (ˌ)in-​ˌkā-​pə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce incapability (audio) \ noun
incapableness \ (ˌ)in-​ˈkā-​pə-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce incapableness (audio) \ noun
incapably \ (ˌ)in-​ˈkā-​pə-​blē How to pronounce incapably (audio) \ adverb

Examples of incapable in a Sentence

hired a supremely incapable assistant who only made a mess of things

Recent Examples on the Web

And Alexandria even herself was incapable and unable to explain how her policies would pan out into any sort of real terms financially. Fox News, "Police say they may never know Las Vegas shooter's motive," 3 Aug. 2018 My liberation was to finally break free from the obligation to love someone who was incapable of love. Amy Dickinson, The Mercury News, "Ask Amy: If he marries my daughter, his life will be hell. Should I warn him?," 10 Sep. 2019 My liberation was to finally break free from the obligation to love someone who was incapable of love. Amy Dickinson, The Denver Post, "Ask Amy: Father-in-law wants to issue premarital warning," 10 Sep. 2019 My liberation was to finally break free from the obligation to love someone who was incapable of love. Amy Dickinson, Washington Post, "Ask Amy: Father-in-law wants to issue premarital warning," 10 Sep. 2019 Moreover, the old observation that the EU is incapable of concerted international action no longer holds. The Economist, "The EU’s relationship with Turkey is failing," 25 July 2019 But the offense, despite adding 20 points after the game was basically out of contention, was incapable of playing from behind against a team with elite talent. Nick Baumgardner, USA TODAY, "Jim Harbaugh in whatever-it-takes mode as he tries to lead Michigan back to top of Big Ten," 16 Aug. 2019 The stories and subplots do evolve some, but the dialogue remains excruciatingly flat (and often just corny), while the annoyingly dull cast seems incapable of giving the material much lift. Hank Stuever, Washington Post, "Send your regrets to Hulu’s ‘Four Weddings and Funeral’ (and a sympathy card)," 29 July 2019 Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press To suggest Jim Harbaugh is incapable of evolution within his coaching philosophy is to ignore most of his journey in the game itself. Nick Baumgardner, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football's new offense: 'We were made for this'," 25 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'incapable.' 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 incapable

1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for incapable

Middle French, from in- + capable capable

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Statistics for incapable

Last Updated

1 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for incapable

The first known use of incapable was in 1594

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More Definitions for incapable

incapable

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of incapable

: not able to do something : not capable

incapable

adjective
in·​ca·​pa·​ble | \ in-ˈkā-pə-bəl How to pronounce incapable (audio) \

Kids Definition of incapable

: not able to do something Penguins are incapable of flight.

incapable

adjective
in·​ca·​pa·​ble

Legal Definition of incapable

: lacking legal qualification or power (as by reason of mental incompetence) — see also incapacity

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Comments on incapable

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