from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Not functioning; inoperative.
  • adj. Unsuitable for a surgical procedure: an inoperable tumor.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Incapable of being successfully surgically operated on.
  • adj. Incapable of correct operation or function; inoperative.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • That cannot be operated on.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. not able to perform its normal function
  • adj. not suitable for surgery


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • But Allison Frey, whose aggressive form of thyroid cancer spread to her liver in inoperable patches, says that approach has made her cancer an illness she can manage much like a diabetic manages insulin.

    New Hope For Cancer Therapy

  • When something is called inoperable, basically that means that performing an operation will actually cause more harm than good.

    CNN Transcript May 20, 2008

  • Some of the discussion will revolve around the definition of "inoperable" used in PARTNER B and the use of "standard" therapy in these patients. News

  • 'Her tumour had been called inoperable and surgery was thought to be impossible,' Dr Herbert Pardes, the president of New York Presbyterian Hospital told a news conference.


  • Yet two mind-numbing revelations make that word inoperable: 1. the scientists at East Anglia University have admitted they threw away most of the raw temperature data on which their conclusions about global warming are based; 2. the BBC has admitted they were aware of this story over a month ago and refused to report it.

    Political Mavens

  • He then proclaimed the Vision and Values statement "inoperable" since the group failed to comply with OSHA guidelines during the infiltration.

    Steven Clifford: Corporate America To Fight Taliban

  • KING: When someone says something you to like "inoperable" or "terminal" or those kinds of words, how do you deal with that?

    CNN Transcript Apr 12, 2007

  • I walked by that seat on the way back and all I saw was a sign that said 'inoperable' and nothing wrong with the actual seat.

    Archive 2005-01-01

  • Personally I went the surgical route. radiation is an option but any surgeon will tell you that radiation treatments, although an alternative to surgury leave one "inoperable" if the cancer re-occurs post treatment. that is why I went surgical.

    Comments for Jack's Newswatch

  • The database shows that for some institutions, the cost of upgrading all "inoperable" buildings to "sound, operationally safe" would be a good chunk of their annual institutional income.

    Education news, comment and analysis |


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