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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX).

UNABLE, adj. As in Eng. Sc. usages:

1. Physically weak, incapacitated, incapable of much physical exertion. Also used subst., see 1902 quot. Obs. in Eng. See Able, adj.Ags. 1720 A. Jervise Memorials (1885) II. 326:
Given to an unable lade.
Sc. 1819 Scott Bride of Lamm. xv.:
Those unarmed and unable Mephibosheths, that are sure to be a burden to everyone that takes them up.
Sc. 1861 J. Brown Horae Subsec. 163:
The misery of an unable body.
Kcb. 1896 Crockett Grey Man iv.:
He was ever thereafter unable of his legs.
Sc. 1902 P. H. Brown Hist. Scot. II. 75:
It [the Book of Discipline] provides for the poor and unable.

2. In phr. unable for, unfit for, incapable of; specif. in regard to food: having no appetite for (Sh., ne.Sc., Ags., wm.Sc. 1973). See Able, Suppl.Sc. 1827 Scott Surgeon's Daughter viii.:
You are unable for what you have undertaken.
Sc. 1847 R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes 226:
The plain truth was, that she should not spin at all, and found herself quite unable for it.
Abd. 1970:
I was sick aa mornin and unable for my denner.

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"Unable adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Aug 2022 <>



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