not able


Also found in: Idioms.
See: unable
References in classic literature ?
He flew around with a great whir of his wings and settled upon a large ram, with the intention of carrying him off, but his claws became entangled in the ram's fleece and he was not able to release himself, although he fluttered with his feathers as much as he could.
That is," said the old duchesse, "because we must will that which we wish for, unless we are not able to obtain what we wish.
And the fear of this, as I conceive, induces the good to take office, not because they would, but because they cannot help--not under the idea that they are going to have any benefit or enjoyment themselves, but as a necessity, and because they are not able to commit the task of ruling to any one who is better than themselves, or indeed as good.
The eyes of the two women met for a moment, and though the smiles lingered still upon their faces Lady Carey at any rate was not able to wholly conceal her hatred.
At length the Hazel-nut child came to his native village; then he undid the ribbon from the stork's neck and the diamond fell to the ground; he covered it first with sand and stones, and then ran to get his parents, so that they might carry the treasure home, for he himself was not able to lift the great diamond.
Even the great man from Edinburgh is not able to decide yet, whether he will recover or not.
This notion prevailed some moments, and he had almost determined to be false to her from a high point of honour: but that refinement was not able to stand very long against the voice of nature, which cried in his heart that such friendship was treason to love.
For a whole week he was not able to sleep well, so much the villainy which he had played upon his trusting mother preyed upon his rag of conscience; but after that he began to get comfortable again, and was presently able to sleep like any other miscreant.
It will be well if they are not able to counteract its legitimate and necessary authority.
He spoke with a cockney twang in a high, metallic voice which he seemed not able always to control; Philip noticed that his upper teeth were large and protruding; they gave you the impression that they were loose and would come out if you gave them a sharp tug.
As usual, I am not able fully to account for my liking of these books, and I am so far from wishing to justify it that I think I ought rather to excuse it.
He therefore was not able to admit the petitioner, who then addressed himself to Rosa, offering to buy her a head-dress of pure gold if she would get the bulbs for him.