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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

INHABILE, adj. Unfit, inadmissible, unqualified (e.g. as a witness). Cf. Habile.Sc. c.1692 A. Pitcairne Assembly (1722) 101:
They be not inhabile Witnesses.
Sc. 1765 Trial of K. Nairn 47:
A person of the worst character and disposition such as rendered her improper and inhabile to be received as a witness.
Sc. 1769 Faculty Decisions V. 25:
Inhabile transmission of a bill, and an arrester preferred.
Sc. 1830 Scott Demonology ix.:
Examinations [at witch-trials], made up of extorted confessions, or the evidence of inhabile witnesses.

Hence inhability, unfitness, incapacity.Sc. 1714 R. Wodrow Corresp. (1843) I. 599:
The Estates of this kingdom have always asserted and often practised a constitution-right of setting aside the next immediate successor in case of inhability.
Sc. 1757 Erskine Principles iv. ii. § 15:
Law allows the party [who suspects a witness] . . . to bring evidence of his enmity, or other inhability.

[O.Sc. inhabile, incompetent, inadmissible, 1522, inhabilite, legal disqualification, 1441; O.Fr. inhabile, Lat. inhabilis, incapable.]

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"Inhabile adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Jan 2023 <>



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