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[in-kuh-pas-i-teyt] /ˌɪn kəˈpæs ɪˌteɪt/
verb (used with object), incapacitated, incapacitating.
to deprive of ability, qualification, or strength; make incapable or unfit; disable.
Law. to deprive of the legal power to act in a specified way or ways.
Origin of incapacitate
First recorded in 1650-60; incapacit(y) + -ate1
Related forms
incapacitation, noun
1. cripple, handicap, sideline. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for incapacitate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He should be able to incapacitate two or three and break out.

    Monkey On His Back Charles V. De Vet
  • There's a break in sanitation that could incapacitate your whole command.

    The Lani People J. F. Bone
  • A few years' knowledge of other countries than our own will not incapacitate me for that part.

  • If it did not incapacitate him for action, he held it of no account.

    Glimpses of Three Coasts Helen Hunt Jackson
  • Why should there be such things as headaches, to incapacitate a man from work?

    The Admiral Douglas Sladen
  • Whether I accompany him is uncertain; he is apprehensive that my health may incapacitate me.

    The Royal Institution Bence Jones
  • Its object is not to kill, but to incapacitate one for action for the time being.

  • A slight bayonet wound, sir; nothing to incapacitate me from duty.

    My Lady of Doubt Randall Parrish
British Dictionary definitions for incapacitate


verb (transitive)
to deprive of power, strength, or capacity; disable
to deprive of legal capacity or eligibility
Derived Forms
incapacitation, noun
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
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Word Origin and History for incapacitate

1650s, from incapacity + -ate. Related: Incapacitated; incapacitating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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