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 No matter how the audience dwindles, or how loudly the Twitter touts denounce the proceedings, those in charge appear to be incapable of taking advice. Libby Watson, The New Republic, "CNN Unleashes Another Exercise in Diminishing Marginal Utility," 15 Jan. 2020 Trump has accused Pelosi of being incapable of passing the agreement because she is too wrapped up in impeachment. BostonGlobe.com, "You're using a browser set to private or incognito mode.," 11 Dec. 2019 Instead, the Safdies often cast people who seem incapable of being anything other than themselves. Kelefa Sanneh, The New Yorker, "The Safdie Brothers’ Full-Immersion Filmmaking," 9 Dec. 2019 The injury rendered Jay incapable of writing more than a handful of the essays that became known as the Federalist Papers that advocated for the ratification of the Constitution. NBC News, "Chief Justice Roberts: Public's need to understand gov't 'ever more vital'," 1 Jan. 2020 With Carell’s Mitch, The Morning Show gets to think about the self-aggrandizement and denial that make some abusers incapable of honesting evaluating themselves. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "What Makes The Morning Show Worth Watching," 1 Nov. 2019 For decades the mature brain was understood to be incapable of growing new neurons. Scientific American, "Why Your Brain Needs Exercise," 18 Dec. 2019 Trump has accused Pelosi of being incapable of passing the agreement because she is too wrapped up in impeachment. BostonGlobe.com, "You're using a browser set to private or incognito mode.," 11 Dec. 2019 Trump has accused Pelosi of being incapable of passing the agreement because she is too wrapped up in impeachment. Andrew Taylor, The Denver Post, "Pelosi announces agreement on revamped Trump trade pact," 10 Dec. 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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Time Traveler for incapable

Time Traveler

The first known use of incapable was in 1594

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Statistics for incapable

Last Updated

22 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Incapable.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/incapably. Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for incapable

incapable

adjective
How to pronounce incapable (audio)

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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out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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