1. Wanting in ability or qualification for the purpose or end in view; not large enough to contain or hold; deficient in physical strength, mental or moral power, etc.; not capable; as, incapable of holding a certain quantity of liquid; incapable of endurance, of comprehension, of perseverance, of reform, etc.

2. Not capable of being brought to do or perform, because morally strong or well disposed; used with reference to some evil; as, incapable of wrong, dishonesty, or falsehood.

3. Not in a state to receive; not receptive; not susceptible; not able to admit; as, incapable of pain, or pleasure; incapable of stain or injury.

4. Unqualified or disqualified, in a legal sense; as, a man under thirty-five years of age is incapable of holding the office of president of the United States; a person convicted on impeachment is thereby made incapable of holding an office of profit or honor under the government.

5. As a term of disgrace, sometimes annexed to a sentence when an officer has been cashiered and rendered incapable of serving his country.

Incapable is often used elliptically. "Is not your father grown incapable of reasonable affairs?" (Shak)

Synonyms: Incompetent, unfit, unable, insufficient, inadequate, deficient, disqualified. See Incompetent.

Origin: Pref. In- not + capable: cf. F. Incapable, L. Incapabilis incomprehensible.

(01 Mar 1998)

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