in·​op·​er·​a·​ble | \ (ˌ)in-ˈä-p(ə-)rə-bəl \

Definition of inoperable

1 : not treatable or remediable by surgery an inoperable brain tumor

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Examples of inoperable in a Sentence

a patient with inoperable cancer The device makes the car inoperable when a key is not used to start it.

Recent Examples on the Web

Many gas stations were inoperable either because of quake damage or from people stealing fuel, national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in Jakarta. Niniek Karmini, The Seattle Times, "Aid slowly is tricking to Indonesian disaster-hit areas," 2 Oct. 2018 At the time, Nugroho said that the buoys were inoperable due to either vandalism or lack of funds for maintenance. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Indonesia's Tsunami Warning System Hasn't Been Operational Since 2012," 1 Oct. 2018 Hill, 19, gained national recognition when, after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in high school, had the chance to fulfill her dream of playing a college basketball game. Paulina Dedaj, Fox News, "Lauren Hill to be inducted into Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame 3 years after brain cancer death," 9 Aug. 2018 In 2015, she was diagnosed with inoperable stage 4 pancreatic cancer, when their daughter was just four months old. Temi Adebowale, Harper's BAZAAR, "Who Is Phil Elverum? 5 Things to Know About Michelle Williams' New Husband," 26 July 2018 Two of the three laboratories that had been testing water quality were rendered inoperable and are still under reconstruction. Scientific American, "Puerto Rico’s Water System Stutters Back to Normal," 14 June 2018 Hours later, the party backtracked and said debate on the snap vote’s timing was premature and such ballot could only take place if the government collapsed or the coalition became inoperable. Radoslav Tomek,, "Slovaks Tilt Toward Snap Vote as Ruling Party Sets Ultimatum," 12 Mar. 2018 Coastal Connecticut was hit especially hard with power outages, downed power lines, inoperable cell towers and flooding. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, "Amateur Radio Operators Practice For Emergencies," 3 July 2018 The car then became inoperable after hitting a curb. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Fleeing car speeds through Franklin with headlights off in nighttime chase," 9 July 2018

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

1886, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for inoperable

probably from French inopérable

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Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for inoperable

The first known use of inoperable was in 1886

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English Language Learners Definition of inoperable

medical : not able to be corrected or removed by surgery

: not capable of being used


in·​op·​er·​a·​ble | \ (ˈ)in-ˈäp-(ə-)rə-bəl \

Medical Definition of inoperable

: not treatable or remediable by or suitable for surgery an advanced and inoperable cancer a developing cataract still inoperable

Other Words from inoperable

inoperability \ (ˌ)in-​ˌäp-​(ə-​)rə-​ˈbil-​ət-​ē \ noun, plural -ties

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Comments on inoperable

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tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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