An inability refers to lacking the capacity to do something. A deaf person has an inability to hear.

If you know that abilities are things people can do — like the ability of a basketball player to dunk the ball — then you might already have figured out that an inability is something a person cannot do. Most people have an inability to dunk a basketball. People who eat too much have an inability to resist food. Often, this word refers to having mental limitations: an inability to think or figure something out. We all have different abilities and inabilities.

Definitions of inability
  1. noun
    lack of ability (especially mental ability) to do something
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    ability, power
    possession of the qualities (especially mental qualities) required to do something or get something done
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    block, mental block
    an inability to remember or think of something you normally can do; often caused by emotional tension
    a poor ability to understand or to profit from experience
    a lack of aptitude
    lack of intellectual power
    a lack of cognitive skill
    analphabetism, illiteracy
    an inability to read
    a lack of creativity
    an inability to understand
    a lack of coordination of movements
    lack of skillfulness in speaking or writing
    writer's block
    an inability to write
    denseness, dumbness, slow-wittedness
    the quality of being mentally slow and limited
    dullness, obtuseness
    the quality of being slow to understand
    backwardness, mental retardation, retardation, slowness, subnormality
    lack of normal development of intellectual capacities
    craziness, folly, foolishness, madness
    the quality of being rash and foolish
    indicative of or marked by mental vacuity and an absence of ideas
    a lack of talent
    incapability, incapableness
    lack of potential for development
    awkwardness, clumsiness, ineptitude, ineptness, maladroitness, slowness
    unskillfulness resulting from a lack of training
    unskillfulness resulting from a lack of efficiency
    something that demonstrates a lack of professional competency
    a lack of creative imagination
    uncreativeness due to a lack of originality
    type of:
    cognition, knowledge, noesis
    the psychological result of perception and learning and reasoning
  2. noun
    lacking the power to perform
    synonyms: unfitness
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    the quality of being able to perform; a quality that permits or facilitates achievement or accomplishment
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    the inability to change or be changed to fit changed circumstances
    insensitiveness, insensitivity
    the inability to respond to affective changes in your interpersonal environment
    incompetence, incompetency
    lack of physical or intellectual ability or qualifications
    incapability, incapableness
    the quality of not being capable -- physically or intellectually or legally
    (pathology) inability of a bodily part or organ to function normally
    inflexibility, rigidity, rigidness
    the quality of being rigid and rigorously severe
    crassitude, crassness
    the quality of being crass--devoid of refinement
    tin ear
    insensitivity to the appropriateness or subtlety of language
    callosity, callousness, hardness, insensibility, unfeelingness
    devoid of passion or feeling; hardheartedness
    the lack of insight and sympathetic understanding
    lack of sympathy
    lack of physical or natural qualifications
    cardiac insufficiency, coronary insufficiency
    inadequate blood flow to the heart muscles; can cause angina pectoris
    type of:
    an essential and distinguishing attribute of something or someone
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