[ in-key-puh-buhl ]
/ ɪnˈkeɪ pə bəl /


not capable.
not having the necessary ability, qualification, or strength to perform some specified act or function: As an administrator, he is simply incapable.
without ordinary capability; incompetent.


a thoroughly incompetent person, especially one of defective mentality.

Idioms for incapable

    incapable of,
    1. not having the ability, qualification, or strength for (a specified act or function).
    2. not open to; not susceptible to or admitting: These materials are incapable of exact measurement.
    3. legally unqualified for.

Origin of incapable

From the Late Latin word incapābilis, dating back to 1585–95. See in-3, capable

SYNONYMS FOR incapable

1 Incapable, incompetent, inefficient, unable are applied to a person or thing that is lacking in ability, preparation, or power for whatever is to be done. Incapable usually means inherently lacking in ability or power: incapable of appreciating music; a bridge incapable of carrying heavy loads. Incompetent, generally used only of persons, means unfit or unqualified for a particular task: incompetent as an administrator. Inefficient means wasteful in the use of effort or power: an inefficient manager; inefficient methods. Unable usually refers to a temporary condition of inability to do some specific thing: unable to relax, to go to a concert.
2 impotent, unqualified.


in·ca·pa·bil·i·ty, in·ca·pa·ble·ness, noun in·ca·pa·bly, adverb

Example sentences from the Web for incapable

British Dictionary definitions for incapable

/ (ɪnˈkeɪpəbəl) /


(when postpositive, often foll by of) not capable (of); lacking the ability (to)
powerless or helpless, as through injury or intoxication
(postpositive foll by of) not susceptible (to); not admitting (of) a problem incapable of solution

Derived forms of incapable

incapability or incapableness, noun incapably, adverb