from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Lack of skill.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The character of being unskilful.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

unskilful +‎ -ness


  • Such, at its very best, is the unskilfulness of our fallible nature, that even the noble principle which impels our love of right, misleads us but into new deviations, when its ambition presumes to point at perfection.


  • And by the same organ we become mad and delirious, and fears and terrors assail us, some by night, and some by day, and dreams and untimely wanderings, and cares that are not suitable, and ignorance of present circumstances, desuetude, and unskilfulness.

    On The Sacred Disease

  • The original estimate of ourselves which gave us courage in the days of our unskilfulness has been strengthened, while the conviction superadded to it that we must be the best seamen of the time, if we have conquered the best, has given a double measure of hope to every man among us; and, for the most part, where there is the greatest hope, there is also the greatest ardour for action.

    The History of the Peloponnesian War

  • The mind sometimes exercises this judgment out of necessity, where demonstrative proofs and certain knowledge are not to be had; and sometimes out of laziness, unskilfulness, or haste, even where demonstrative and certain proofs are to be had.

    God, Aids & Circumcision

  • Of all the publishers, clandestine or professed, their negligence and unskilfulness has by the late revisers been sufficiently shown.

    Preface to Shakespeare

  • But oftentimes unskilfulness and ignorance of the true nature of extreme occasions some to mistake the middle temperament for the extreme and outmost part.

    Essays and Miscellanies

  • But in regard of the rawness and unskilfulness of the hands through which they pass, the greatest matters are many times carried in the weakest ciphers.

    The Advancement of Learning

  • Oh! there is a husk and shell, Yorick, which grows up with learning, which their unskilfulness knows not how to fling away! —

    The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman

  • Numberless workmen have been employed, and the superintending artist has improved the labourers, whose unskilfulness tormented him, by obliging them to submit to the discipline of rules.

    Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway and Denmark

  • Savages, in all countries, have patience proportionate to their unskilfulness, and are content to attain their end by very tedious methods.

    A Journey to the Western Isles of Scotland


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