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Unserviceable   /ənsˈərvəsəbəl/  /ˈənsˈərvəsəbəl/   Listen
Unserviceable

adjective
1.
Not ready for service.
2.
Not capable of being used.  Synonyms: unusable, unuseable.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Unserviceable" Quotes from Famous Books



... first-rate hunter, and despatched the fellow with such little aid as I could give, with a leg not fit to stand upon; and when the canoes came off to fetch us, he would not leave the place till he had skinned the beast. My leg is unserviceable at present, and all my bones feel the effect of the night in the swamp, so I am to lay by, make the drawings, and draw up the report, while Mr. Currie and Randolf do my work over again, all my marks having been effaced by his majesty the Fire ...
— Hopes and Fears - scenes from the life of a spinster • Charlotte M. Yonge

... to order a combined naval and military attack upon all the Chinese forts which belt the approaches to Canton. These were all captured; and the immense number of eight hundred and twenty-seven heavy guns were in a few hours made unserviceable, either by knocking off their trunnions, or by spiking them, or in both ways. The Imperial Commissioner, Keying, previously known so favourably to the English by his good sense and discretion, had on this occasion thought it his best policy to ignore Lord Palmerston's letter: a copy ...
— The Uncollected Writings of Thomas de Quincey, Vol. 2 - With a Preface and Annotations by James Hogg • Thomas de Quincey

... its natural effect. The Treasurer was, in truth, exposed to the vengeance of Parliament, not on account of his delinquencies, but on account of his merits; not because he had been an accomplice in a criminal transaction, but because he had been a most unwilling and unserviceable accomplice. But of the circumstances, which have, in the judgment of posterity, greatly extenuated his fault, his contemporaries were ignorant. In their view he was the broker who had sold England to France. It seemed clear that his ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 1 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... materials used for propellers, steel has been largely adopted for both solid and loose-bladed screws; but unless protected in some way, the tips of the blades are apt to corrode rapidly and become unserviceable. One of the stronger kinds of bronze is often judiciously employed for the blades, in conjunction with a steel boss. Where the first extra expense can be afforded, bronze seems the preferable material; the castings ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 821, Sep. 26, 1891 • Various

... proper. I like that way of fixing her hair. But I expect she'll ruin that dress driving over there in the dust and dew with it, and it looks most too thin for these damp nights. Organdy's the most unserviceable stuff in the world anyhow, and I told Matthew so when he got it. But there is no use in saying anything to Matthew nowadays. Time was when he would take my advice, but now he just buys things for Anne regardless, and the clerks at Carmody know ...
— Anne Of Green Gables • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... REYNOLDS, Major-General.) considered "that to have attacked before Hooker had accomplished some success, in view of the strong position and numbers in their front, might have failed to dislodge the enemy, and have rendered them unserviceable at the proper time."* (* Dispatch of Chief of the Staff to Hooker, dated 4 P.M., May 1. O.R. volume 25 page 326.) That is, they were not inclined to risk their own commands in order to assist Hooker, of whose movements they were uncertain. Yet even if they had been defeated, ...
— Stonewall Jackson And The American Civil War • G. F. R. Henderson

... are skilled in archery bend their bow only when they are prepared to use it; when they do not require it they allow it to remain unbent, for otherwise it would be unserviceable when the time for using it arrived. So it is with man. If he were to devote himself unceasingly to a dull round of business, without breaking the monotony by cheerful amusements, he would fall imperceptibly into idiotcy, or be ...
— Book of Wise Sayings - Selected Largely from Eastern Sources • W. A. Clouston

... into the rear of the three former divisions, to charge where and when there should be occasion, or to help the engaged, or supply the place of any that should be unserviceable. ...
— Fighting Instructions, 1530-1816 - Publications Of The Navy Records Society Vol. XXIX. • Julian S. Corbett

... built representing the side of a certain class of unarmored ships of war; behind this target, as on a deck, were placed some unserviceable guns, mounted on old carriages, and surrounded by wooden dummies, to represent the men working the guns. The attacking gun was a twelve-ton nine-inch muzzle-loader, of the old despised type, and the projectiles were ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 324, March 18, 1882 • Various

... and thirty soldiers have disappeared. The country that once, with primitive methods, built ships of about 2,000 toneladas, today [1890] has to go to foreign ports, as Hong-Kong, to give the gold wrenched from the poor, in exchange for unserviceable cruisers. The rivers are blocked up, and navigation in the interior of the islands is perishing, thanks to the obstacles created by a timid and mistrusting system of government; and there scarcely remains in the memory ...
— History of the Philippine Islands Vols 1 and 2 • Antonio de Morga

... and 9th Michigan and a detachment of the 5th Indiana. A part of the 5th Kentucky was cut off by this charge, the gun we had taken was recaptured, and our Parrotts also fell into the hands of the enemy. They were so clogged with dust, however, as to be almost unserviceable, and their ammunition was expended. Bringing up a part of the 2d Kentucky, I succeeded in checking and driving back the regiments that first bore down on us, but they were quickly reinforced and immediately returned to the attack. In the mean time Colonel Johnson's videttes ...
— Famous Adventures And Prison Escapes of the Civil War • Various

... that any movement had been projected, two circumstances excited my suspicions. Once, while I was walking with the major on the parapet, he turned to me abruptly, and asked me what would be the best course to take to render the gun-carriages unserviceable. I told him there were several methods, but my plan would be to heap pitch-pine knots around them, and burn them up. The question was too ...
— Reminiscences of Forts Sumter and Moultrie in 1860-'61 • Abner Doubleday

... among them; it is evidently impossible that they can act a public part with uniformity, perseverance, or efficacy. In a connection, the most inconsiderable man, by adding to the weight of the whole, has his value, and his use; out of it, the greatest talents are wholly unserviceable to the public. No man, who is not inflamed by vain-glory into enthusiasm, can flatter himself that his single, unsupported, desultory, unsystematic endeavours, are of power to defeat the subtle designs and united cabals of ambitious citizens. When bad men combine, ...
— Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Edmund Burke. • Edmund Burke

... guarded w^th 50 men, hee found sharpe service, forceing his way through muskett and cannon, and beateing the enemy out of the sconce w^th stones, his muskett, by reason of the high worke, being unserviceable. After a quarter of an houres hard service, his men gott the trench and scal'd the rampier, where many of the enemy fledd, the rest were slayne. The sconce, thus won, was made good by a squadron of musketteers, which much annoyed the enemy, attempting to come upp agayne. The 2 maine ...
— Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 1 (of 2) • John Roby

... studies, for the king's service; but I only think I merit not to starve. I never applied myself to any interest contrary to your lordship's; and, on some occasions, perhaps not known to you, have not been unserviceable to the memory and reputation of my lord, your father.[41] After this, my lord, my conscience assures me, I may write boldly, though I cannot speak to you. I have three sons, growing to man's estate. I breed them all up to learning, ...
— The Dramatic Works of John Dryden Vol. I. - With a Life of the Author • Sir Walter Scott

... mankind's forbearance; it has not only been amassed and handed down, it has been suffered to be amassed and handed down; and surely in such a consideration as this, its possessor should find only a new spur to activity and honour, that with all this power of service he should not prove unserviceable, and that this mass of treasure should return in benefits upon the race. If he had twenty, or thirty, or a hundred thousand at his banker's, or if all Yorkshire or all California were his to manage or to ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 16 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... Polynesian easy to smatter, but interpreters abound. Missionaries, traders, and broken white folk living on the bounty of the natives, are to be found in almost every isle and hamlet; and even where these are unserviceable, the natives themselves have often scraped up a little English, and in the French zone (though far less commonly) a little French-English, or an efficient pidgin, what is called to the westward "Beach-la-Mar," comes easy to the Polynesian; it is ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 18 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... hesitated to pick up a pin that "wasn't his'n." He was evidently of an acquisitive turn, however, for over his shoulder was slung a bag which appeared to contain a collection of the most heterogeneous and unserviceable rubbish conceivable. "Eh!... possono servire!" ... was all he would volunteer on the subject when I once chaffed him on the subject of his findings. ...
— A Girl Among the Anarchists • Isabel Meredith

... the rifles and swords of the injured men stand in racks, the old and unserviceable rifles with which Belgium was forced to equip so many of her soldiers side by side with the new and scientific German guns. Along the wall are officers' swords, and above them, on shelves, the haversacks of the common soldiers, laden with the things ...
— Kings, Queens And Pawns - An American Woman at the Front • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... sunshine, could light, could the glories of the dawn call for defence? Not as a thing to be defended, but as a thing to be interpreted, as a thing to be illuminated, did Christianity exist for him. He, therefore, was even more unserviceable as a champion against the deliberate impeacher of Christian ...
— Autobiographic Sketches • Thomas de Quincey

... left remaining of it besides the bare walles and roofe, and these, partly through neglect, and partly by the daily assaults and batteries of the disaffected, so shattered, ruinated, and defaced, as it was not more unserviceable in the way of a cathedral than justly scandalous to all who delight to serve God in the beauty of Holines." Most of the windows had been broken, "the church's guardians, her faire and strong gates, turned off the hooks and burned." The buildings and houses of the clergy ...
— The Cathedral Church of Canterbury [2nd ed.]. • Hartley Withers

... their shields, forming as it were a palisade; to perform which, they require an open plain. The Thracians, too, were embarrassed by their lances, which also are of a great length, and were entangled among the branches that stood in their way on every side. The body of Cretans alone was not unserviceable; and yet even these, though, in case of an attack made on them, they could to good purpose discharge their arrows against the horses or riders, where they were open to a wound, yet against the Roman shields they could do nothing, because they had neither ...
— History of Rome, Vol III • Titus Livius

... himself of the burthen he is carrying, that he trembles like a school-boy, or is as senseless as an Echo, and could never speak if others had not spoken before. Such a tutored actor among us would be like a paralytic arm to a body; an unserviceable member, only fatiguing the healthy action of the sound parts. Our performers, who became illustrious by their art, charmed the spectators by the beauty of their voice, their spontaneous gestures, the flexibility of their passions, while a certain ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. II (of 3) - Edited, With Memoir And Notes, By His Son, The Earl Of Beaconsfield • Isaac D'Israeli

... understanding, if he has been wrong, will suggest to himself all that could be urged against him. The man of good nature will, unupbraided, own his error. Immediate contradiction is, therefore, wholly unserviceable, and highly imprudent; an after repetition is equally unnecessary and injudicious. Any peculiarities in the temper or behavior ought to be properly represented in the tenderest and in the most friendly manner. If ...
— Sketches of the Fair Sex, in All Parts of the World • Anonymous

... which is hardly consistent with the idea of log boats. Again, in A.D. 274, the people of Izu are recorded as having built and sent to the Court a vessel one hundred feet long; and, twenty-six years later, this ship having become old and unserviceable, was used as fuel for manufacturing salt, five hundred bags of which were distributed among the provinces with directions to ...
— A History of the Japanese People - From the Earliest Times to the End of the Meiji Era • Frank Brinkley and Dairoku Kikuchi

... buffeting with the storm for two days and nights without rest, and with little or no food. The boat itself had been badly stove while alongside with the last load of passengers. She was so much knocked to pieces as to be really unserviceable, nor could she have held another person. Still those brave seamen, inspired by the conduct and true to the trust imposed in them by their Captain, did not hesitate to leave the brig again, and pull back through the dark for miles, across an ...
— Southern Literature From 1579-1895 • Louise Manly

... blooded and purged, myself undergoing the same evacuation, in order to prevent those dangerous fevers to which northern constitutions are subject in hot climates; and I have reason to believe, that this precaution was not unserviceable, for we lost but one sailor during our whole passage to ...
— The Adventures of Roderick Random • Tobias Smollett

... unsatisfying, baseless, idle, trifling, unserviceable, bootless, inconstant, trivial, unsubstantial, deceitful, ineffectual, unavailing, useless, delusive, nugatory, unimportant, vapid, empty, null, unprofitable, visionary, fruitless, profitless, ...
— English Synonyms and Antonyms - With Notes on the Correct Use of Prepositions • James Champlin Fernald

... in England, outside the Ordnance, realizes, I believe, that barring the guns of the 29th Division and the few guns of the Anzacs, our field artillery consists of the old 15-prs., relics of South Africa, and of 5-inch hows., some of them Omdurman veterans. Quite a number of these guns are already unserviceable and, in the 42nd Division, to keep one and a half batteries fully gunned, we have had to use up every piece in the Brigade. The surplus personnel are thus wasted. To take on new Skoda or Krupp guns with these short-range veterans is rough on the gunners. Still, but for the Territorial ...
— Gallipoli Diary, Volume I • Ian Hamilton

... this reason, we must never post one of our own batteries so that the enemy's guns will take it obliquely, or in flank; unless, indeed, by doing so, we may probably obtain some important and decisive effect before it can be destroyed, or made unserviceable. ...
— A Treatise on the Tactical Use of the Three Arms: Infantry, Artillery, and Cavalry • Francis J. Lippitt

... regiments of foot and several troops of horse were soon raised. But though men were forthcoming in abundance, there was a great want of arms and all munitions of war. There were, in the government stores, only twenty thousand arms, and most of these were old weapons, that had been returned to store as unserviceable, and only about a thousand muskets were found to be of any use. There was no artillery or ammunition, and no money with which these necessaries could be purchased abroad. The gentry would have willingly ...
— Orange and Green - A Tale of the Boyne and Limerick • G. A. Henty

... captor's force. This success was not followed up and Guaymas remained in the hands of the Federals. The artillery captured by the Constitutionalists had had the breech blocks removed to render them unserviceable; new ones, however, were made in the shops at Cananca by ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 21 - The Recent Days (1910-1914) • Charles F. Horne, Editor

... good of his family. He would be contented to drag through long listless days at Caversham, and endeavour to nurse his property, if only his daughter would allow it. By assuming a certain pomp in his living, which had been altogether unserviceable to himself and family, by besmearing his footmen's heads, and bewigging his coachmen, by aping, though never achieving, the grand ways of grander men than himself, he had run himself into debt. His ...
— The Way We Live Now • Anthony Trollope

... gained by it. To the former the gain appears greater than the danger, while the latter would rather stand the risk than put up with any immediate sacrifice. But if both should happen to have chosen the wrong moment for acting in this way, advice to make peace would not be unserviceable; and this, if we did but see it, is just what we stand most in need ...
— The History of the Peloponnesian War • Thucydides

... had long since been ordered but had never yet been sent), and to see that all previous orders relative to the magazine of arms and the storage of powder were duly executed. Special directions were given to replace the "calliver" (now become unserviceable) by the musket, and to provide bullets in addition to powder and match.(206) The letter of the lords was read at a Common Council held on the 31st July, when committees were appointed to see to the muster and training of 6,000 men, and to examine what sums of money remained over from the two ...
— London and the Kingdom - Volume II • Reginald R. Sharpe

... on the grass. I immediately began to form my boat while the bark was fresh and flexible. My sons, in their impatience, thought it would do very well if we nailed a board at each end of the roll; but this would have been merely a heavy trough, inelegant and unserviceable; I wished to have one that would look well by the side of the pinnace; and this idea at once rendered my boys patient and obedient. We began by cutting out at each end of the roll of bark a triangular piece of ...
— The Swiss Family Robinson; or Adventures in a Desert Island • Johann David Wyss

... got at them, somehow or another, and the cartridges were all unserviceable. "Hum!" says the Sergeant. "Look to your loading, men. You are right ...
— The Perils of Certain English Prisoners • Charles Dickens

... began to curse the mule. Soon recovering myself, I rose, picked up the rifle and anxiously examined it. It was badly injured. The stock was cracked, and the main screw broken, so that the lock had to be tied in its place with a string; yet happily it was not rendered totally unserviceable. I wiped it out, reloaded it, and handing it to Reynal, who meanwhile had caught the mule and led her up to me, I mounted again. No sooner had I done so, than the brute began to rear and plunge with extreme violence; but being now well prepared for her, and free from incumbrance, I soon reduced ...
— The Oregon Trail • Francis Parkman, Jr.

... their real wants not half complied with. I have applications from the different line-of-battle-ships for surveys on most of their sails and running rigging, which cannot be complied with, as there is neither cordage nor sails to replace the unserviceable stores, and, therefore, the evil must be combated in the best manner possible." As the whole Navy had suffered from the same cause, there was no reserve of ships at home to replace those in the Mediterranean, which, besides lacking everything, were between eight and nine hundred men short of ...
— The Life of Nelson, Vol. II. (of 2) - The Embodiment of the Sea Power of Great Britain • A. T. (Alfred Thayer) Mahan

... a direct charge, contrived to pocket a hundred guineas, or more, for every convoy that was put under his captain's charge. After four years, during which he had saved a considerable sum, the ship was declared unserviceable, and broken up, and Mr Skrimmage was sent on board of the guard-ship, where his ready wit immediately pointed out to him the advantages which might be reaped by permanently belonging to her, as clerk of the ship, and caterer of the midshipmen's ...
— The King's Own • Captain Frederick Marryat

... 1682, as appears by an authentic record (proces-verbal) of the conflagration, this steep road was but fourteen feet wide. It was built of branches, covered with earth. Having been rendered unserviceable by the fire, the inhabitants had it widened six feet, as they had to travel three miles, after the conflagration, to enter the upper town by ...
— Picturesque Quebec • James MacPherson Le Moine

... width into five parts and let two of these be set apart for the tablinum. In the case of smaller atriums, the symmetrical proportions cannot be the same as in larger. For if, in the case of the smaller, we employ the proportion that belong to the larger, both tablina and alae must be unserviceable, while if, in the case of the larger, we employ the proportions of the smaller, the rooms mentioned will be huge monstrosities. Hence, I have thought it best to describe exactly their respective proportionate sizes, with a view both to convenience ...
— Ten Books on Architecture • Vitruvius

... continued a long time, and did abide so many blowes in them, that his legges were crusht and beaten together as small as might bee, and the bones and flesh so brused that the blond and marrow spouted forth in great abundance, wherby they were made unserviceable for ever. And notwithstanding all these grievous panes and cruel torments, he would not confesse aniething, so deepely had the Devil entered into his heart, that hee utterly denied all that which he had before avouched, and would saie nothing ...
— Popular Tales from the Norse • Sir George Webbe Dasent

... opposite of a theologian. We might translate passages of scathing irony on the ascetic creed of the Cross from the De L'Allemagne, but space does not admit. A few of Heine's last words must do instead. To Adolph Stahr he said: "For the man in good health Christianity is an unserviceable religion, with its resignation and one-sided precepts. For the sick man, however, I assure you it is a very good religion." To Alfred Meissner: "When health is used up, money used up, and sound human sense used up, Christianity begins." Once, while lying ...
— Arrows of Freethought • George W. Foote

... committed suicide in despair. Not a single torpedo had been brought into action by the Spaniards. There were several in stock at Cavite Arsenal, but, when wanted, each had an important piece missing, so they were unserviceable. About 4.30 p.m. the American ships changed their position, and moved towards Manila City. A formal demand was made on the Gov.-General Augusti to surrender the capital. The British Consul, who had received instructions to look ...
— The Philippine Islands • John Foreman

... DONNERWETTER. She was racing along on the pier, and I was pacing along in the rear. I saw her and caught her up. I hastily pressed all the valuables that I had with me—four postage-stamps and an unserviceable watch-key—into her hand, and entreated her to give me ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 98, February 1, 1890 • Various



Words linked to "Unserviceable" :   serviceable, inoperable, nonfunctional, burned-out, broken-down, burnt-out, unrepaired, useless



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