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[dis-ey-buh ld] /dɪsˈeɪ bəld/
physically or mentally impaired, injured, or incapacitated.
(used with a plural verb) physically or mentally impaired persons (usually preceded by the):
Ramps have been installed at the entrances to accommodate the disabled.
Origin of disabled
First recorded in 1625-35; disable + -ed2
Related forms
nondisabled, noun, adjective
semidisabled, adjective
undisabled, adjective
Usage note
See cripple. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for nondisabled


  1. lacking one or more physical powers, such as the ability to walk or to coordinate one's movements, as from the effects of a disease or accident, or through mental impairment
  2. (as collective noun; preceded by the): the disabled
Usage note
Nowadays it is better to refer to people with physical disabilities of various kinds by describing the specific difficulty in question rather than talking about the disabled as a group, which is considered somewhat offensive. Some people also object to the word disabled to refer to facilities for people with disabilites, and prefer the word accessible
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 nondisabled



"incapacitated," 1630s, past participle adjective from disable. Earlier it meant "legally disqualified" (mid-15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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nondisabled in Medicine

disabled dis·a·bled (dĭs-ā'bəld)
Impaired, as in physical functioning. n.
Physically impaired people considered as a group. Often used with the.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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