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  • WordNet 3.6
    • n inability lacking the power to perform
    • n inability lack of ability (especially mental ability) to do something
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Prosopagnosia refers to the inability to identify people by their faces. In severe cased prosopagnosia a person may not be able to identify themselves in a mirror
    • n Inability The quality or state of being unable; lack of ability; lack of sufficient power, strength, resources, or capacity. "It is not from an inability to discover what they ought to do, that men err in practice."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Methylphenidate (Ritalin) is a medication prescribed for individuals (usually children) who have an abnormally high level of activity or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 3 to 5 percent of the general population has the disorder, which is characterized by agitated behavior and an inability to focus on tasks. Methylphenidate also is occasionally prescribed for treating narcolepsy. Methylphenidate is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant. It has effects similar to, but more potent than, caffeine and less potent than amphetamines. It has a notably calming effect on hyperactive children and a "focusing" effect on those with ADHD.
    • n inability The state of being unable, physically, mentally, or morally; want of ability; lack of power, capacity, or means: as, inability to perform a task, or to pay one's debts.
    • n inability Specifically In theology, want of power to obey the law of God. Theologians have distinguished between natural inability, or a supposed total natural incapacity to obey the divine law without special divine grace, and moral inability, or a want of power due, not to incapacity, but to a perverted will. Synonyms Disability, Inability (see disability), weakness, incapacity, incompetence, impotence.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Inability in-a-bil′i-ti want of sufficient power: incapacity.
    • ***


  • Francois De La Rochefoucauld
    “Old men are fond of giving good advice to console themselves for their inability to give bad examples.”
  • Virginia Woolf
    “Things have dropped from me. I have outlived certain desires; I have lost friends, some by death... others through sheer inability to cross the street.”
  • Henry Miller
    “What distinguishes the majority of men from the few is their inability to act according to their beliefs.”
  • Wayne Dyer
    “The concept of boredom entails an inability to use up present moments in a personally fulfilling way.”
  • Rollo May
    Rollo May
    “Depression is the inability to construct a future.”
  • Ezra Pound
    “In our time, the curse is monetary illiteracy, just as inability to read plain print was the curse of earlier centuries.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Pref. in-, not + ability,: cf. F. inhabileté,. See Able, and cf. Unable


In literature:

A man of great shrewdness and ability, he was exceedingly sensitive over his inability to read or write.
"Toaster's Handbook" by Peggy Edmund and Harold W. Williams, compilers
On January 17 the Cora jury announced its inability to agree.
"Port O' Gold" by Louis John Stellman
Mere inability to retain employment does not, however, deprive a member of the relief.
"Beneficiary Features of American Trade Unions" by James B. Kennedy
You've no idea of the awful loneliness that comes from a feeling of inability.
"The Regent" by E. Arnold Bennett
The inability to do any one thing particularly well is, in its way, as serious a handicap in the selection of a vocation as great versatility.
"Analyzing Character" by Katherine M. H. Blackford and Arthur Newcomb
Then they pleaded poverty and distress, and their utter inability to repay what they had borrowed.
"An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. 2" by David Collins
Is the inability limited in its nature to long-continued intellectual incapacity, or has it a broader import?
"A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents" by James D. Richardson
Many a subtle philosopher has failed to solve himself, owing to his inability to discern his beginning and his end.
"Cobwebs From an Empty Skull" by Ambrose Bierce (AKA: Dod Grile)
Meantime Mr. Lincoln was sorely exercised at his inability to make his generals carry out his plans.
"Abraham Lincoln, Vol. II" by John T. Morse
We might dilate on the sheer inability of the hearer to grasp a clear outline in such a multiple plot.
"Symphonies and Their Meaning; Third Series, Modern Symphonies" by Philip H. Goepp
Hunter and King had both harped upon it in their despatches, and lamented their inability to remedy the abuses that had grown up.
"The Naval Pioneers of Australia and Walter Jeffery" by Louis Becke
If a horse gives out from inability to proceed at this gait, he is left on the road.
"What I Saw in California" by Edwin Bryant
Already nearly half the sepoys, from sheer inability to keep their ranks, had joined the crowd of non-combatants.
"Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXVIII. February, 1843. Vol. LIII." by Various
His inability to recast and correct his work cost the world a master.
"Emerson and Other Essays" by John Jay Chapman
I regret my inability to get a sketch of his life.
"History of Kershaw's Brigade" by D. Augustus Dickert
The inability of the crowds, of the disciples, and others to understand Him grows more marked.
"Quiet Talks on Prayer" by S. D. (Samuel Dickey) Gordon
Charlotte's inability with the needle was proverbial.
"The Second Violin" by Grace S. Richmond
The inability to determine the good layers has been the difficulty.
"The Dollar Hen" by Milo M. Hastings
Germany's inability to feed her animals has greatly curtailed her supply of animal fats.
"Food Guide for War Service at Home" by Katharine Blunt, Frances L. Swain, and Florence Powdermaker
He was too much of a man to argue her own short-comings as against his inability to do more for her than he was doing.
"Partners of Chance" by Henry Herbert Knibbs

In poetry:

Mountain of foreign servility,
Butcher of chin and of lip.
Maugre your marked inability,
Do I not fall for the tip?
"Christmas Cards" by Franklin Pierce Adams

In news:

"Before we beat Detroit, the two biggest areas were our turnovers and our inability to stop them converting the few offensive rebounds they got into points," Brown said.
In its story on the Obama administration's apparent inability to take strong steps to spur the economy and create jobs, The New York Times adopts an increasingly common explanation: politics just won't allow more aggressive action.
Astros' offensive inability allows cellar- dwelling Cubs to complete sweep.
I saw other examples of this inability to move from mode to mode: For example, I did some edits to a camera raw file in Adjust mode, but they disappeared when I moved to Edit mode—it's more like separate programs than modes.
Because pathology is the inability to change and sustain consistent postive change, grow in any meaningful way, and the inability to for him to see how his behavior negatively effects others.
It had to do with their inability to work with other members, which some people might refer to as the a—hole factor .
He says some have been fired for temporary inability to perform some job tasks.
Her focus on her "ugly" looks and her supposed inabilities were an odd fit in the radicalized 1960s.
Pre-season problems centre around WHL team's inability to win faceoffs.
The City Council, frustrated by the department's slow response times and inability to produce accurate data, has summoned Brian Cummings to appear Tuesday.
The chance for a flash flood to occur significantly increases in the vicinity of a burn scar because of the lack of vegetation and the soil's inability to absorb moisture.
La Habra's biggest fault was its inability to contain Foothill 's stellar receiving tandem of Julian Moss and Bobby Okereke.
The biggest factor in this second wave of foreclosures is the inability of distressed homeowners to sell in order to pay off their debts.
For all the value Jorge Posada brought as a hitter, research showed he also cost the Yankees runs with his inability to frame pitches, ranking among the worst in the game.
'What did for Entwistle was his inability to handle aggressive media interviews and to remain steady under fire.

In science:

Yet, our inability to devise a renormalizable quantum gravity theory as well as the mathematical singularities found in many solutions of Einstein’s equations suggest that we should look harder for gravitational phenomena not described by General Relativity.
Probes and Tests of Strong-Field Gravity with Observations in the Electromagnetic Spectrum
The inability to deal with this in neoclassical economics is well known and has a name, which is the changing preferences problem.
Time and symmetry in models of economic markets
The requirement for shift of information also brings about the inability to implement soft handover when the connection is split at the base station.
TCP over 3G links: Problems and Solutions
The inability of theoretical models to describe this satisfactorily raises the question about the mechanisms of energy loss of heavy quarks in nuclear matter.
STAR heavy-flavor results
His reluctance was certainly not due to simple inability.
Analyzing Problem Solving Using Math in Physics: Epistemological Framing via Warrants
Our inability to distinguish different points q that have the same Lorentzian distance, ǫ, to point p is related to the fact that one can perform Lorentz transformation that takes q1 to q2, while keeping p fixed (here, the spacetime is assumed to be flat).
Causal set as a discretized phase spacetime
Another source of anisotropy may result from our inability to efficiently clean foreground contaminations from temperature maps.
Testing gaussianity, homogeneity and isotropy with the cosmic microwave background
Due to inability to replicate non-replicable derivative securities perfectly, the ownership of these derivatives bears some risk.
Overview of utility-based valuation
The inability to measure all the PN parameters simultaneously led us to propose a more modest procedure to test the PN parameters one at a time.
Parametrized tests of post-Newtonian theory using Advanced LIGO and Einstein Telescope
Due to our inability to solve strongly coupled field theories, QCD is therefore still only partially solved.
QCD for Collider Physics
Such discrepancies reflect the inability of the current event generators to properly deal with the physics at, or beyond, the frontiers of pQCD, in particular with multiparticle interactions.
Multiparticle Dynamics in the LHC Era
This inability of the system is of interest, but can make system comparison impossible or insignificant.
A New General Method to Generate Random Modal Formulae for Testing Decision Procedures
The most obvious difficulty of the model is our inability to understand the value of the Higgs field vacuum expectation value, or even, as the famous naturalness problem is stated [153], to understand why this value is not 16 orders of magnitude larger.
Summary of Lepton Photon 2011
Also measurement uncertainties can be accounted for in the model as extrinsic noise, modeling our inability to precisely quantify the experimental observables.
Global parameter identification of stochastic reaction networks from single trajectories
For example, the fact that the direction of the flux is assumed rather than computed from the transfer equation can introduce serious error in optically thin regions, such as the inability to follow shadows, or a net force on the fluid which is in the wrong direction.
A Godunov Method for Multidimensional Radiation Magnetohydrodynamics based on a variable Eddington tensor