unable


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Related to unable: not able

be unable to hear (oneself) think

To be unable to concentrate on anything due to overwhelming noise. Can you turn down that blaring music? I'm unable hear myself think! There's so much construction going on during the day that you're unable to hear yourself think over the chorus of jackhammers.
See also: hear, think, unable

be unable to hear yourself think

be unable to think clearly as a result of an excessive amount of noise. informal
See also: hear, think, unable

make head or tail of something, to be unable to

To fail to understand something. This term was already used to denote total confusion by Cicero (Nec caput nec pedes, meaning “neither head nor feet”). Whether it refers to beginning or end, or top or bottom, or, as someone suggests, the two sides of a coin, is not known, but to make neither head nor tail of something has been so used ever since, in English from the seventeenth century to the present.
See also: head, make, of, tail, unable
References in periodicals archive ?
On or near Dame Agnes Grove - five (two under investigation, two unable to prosecute and one no suspect identified)
The collapsed lung he suffered when the knife punctured his chest cavity has left him unable to walk long distances and he often becomes breathless, he said.
PC Graves said he had been unable to say how fast the BMW had been travelling at the time of the crash.
Their health insurance policy has also expired, they said, and they are unable to get any health treatment or medicines from the hospitals.
But frustratingly, doctors have so far been unable to pinpoint what has caused Kaci's illness.
I have known many sufferers being unable to get out of their homes for 20 or more years through agoraphobic problems that have not been helped.
We have victims of flooding unable to get insurance and who have once again been flooded.
Morris' court filing was accompanied by a doctor's declaration stating that Mitchell would be unable to attend a court hearing for four to six months, but it included no additional details on her condition or prognosis.
" he said.: "Between around 10.40am and 13.15pm today, some of our customers were unable to use other banks' ' ATMs.
ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- The number of people unable to make payments on personal loans and credit cards rose 25.4 percent during the first five months of 2014 on a year-on-year basis, according to recent figures from the Turkish Banks Association (TBB).
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) would like to advise taxpayers who have been affected by flooding in Alberta that they will have access to the CRA s taxpayer relief provisions if they are unable to meet their tax obligations.
Summary: The RBS banking group has said sorry to its millions of customers after they were left unable to access accounts or withdraw money.
But council leader Nick Forbes said: "If we don't save that money over the next three years, we will be unable to function, unable to pay our staff, unable to empty the bins, unable to maintain our roads, unable to support public transport and unable to look after vulnerable children and adults."