- to make unable or unfit; weaken or destroy the capability of; incapacitate: The detective successfully disabled the bomb. He was disabled by the accident.
- to make legally incapable; disqualify.
Origin of disable
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. enfeeble, paralyze.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for disable
This would seem to refute the new report that the captain alone would have been able to disable all the systems.Who Gagged the Search for MH370?
June 22, 2014
Her first move was to disable the “retweet cartels,” a setup that automatically retweets from preprogrammed users or hashtags.The Champagne Tranarchist Who Hijacked Occupy’s Twitter Feed
February 15, 2014
In Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, and Mali, we have to keep working with partners to disrupt and disable these networks.Obama’s War on Terror Muddle
January 29, 2014
Once you enslave a computer to do what you want, you disable it for real love.Can Robots Fall in Love, and Why Would They?
December 31, 2013
It's true that if Republicans continue to disable themselves, Democrats have more freedom to indulge their progressive instincts.The Dems’ Fork in the Road
November 12, 2013
I must disable this machinery and give the tug a chance to escape.The Cruise of the Dry Dock
T. S. Stribling
And he repeats the Arabic proverb in broken Arabic, “A drop of pus will disable a camel.”The Book of Khalid
Now he had to make another when her threat was not to kill him but to disable the ship.Pariah Planet
But how do you disable a smooth-surfaced turtle-backed machine?The Status Civilization
Running over a floating log might disable our propeller, and we should be helpless then.Up the River
- to make ineffective, unfit, or incapable, as by crippling
- to make or pronounce legally incapable
- to switch off (an electronic device)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for disable
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper