Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

disability

[dis-uh-bil-i-tee]
See more synonyms for disability on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural dis·a·bil·i·ties for 2.
  1. lack of adequate power, strength, or physical or mental ability; incapacity.
  2. a physical or mental handicap, especially one that prevents a person from living a full, normal life or from holding a gainful job.
  3. anything that disables or puts one at a disadvantage: His mere six-foot height will be a disability in professional basketball.
  4. the state or condition of being disabled.
  5. legal incapacity; legal disqualification.
  6. disability insurance.
Show More

Origin of disability

First recorded in 1570–80; dis-1 + ability

Synonyms

See more synonyms for disability on Thesaurus.com
1. disqualification, incompetence, incapability, impotence.

Synonym study

1. Disability, inability imply a lack of power or ability. A disability is some disqualifying deprivation or loss of power, physical or other: excused because of a physical disability; a temporary disability. Inability is a lack of ability, usually because of an inherent lack of talent, power, etc.: inability to talk, to do well in higher mathematics.

Antonyms

1. ability, capacity.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for disability

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Certain sections of the nation get cured of this disability.

  • Take one child and put him under the disability that the twins were born with.

    Now We Are Three

    Joe L. Hensley

  • Do you think that some exterior force is causing the President's disability?

  • Only how the bonfires wouldn't burn if it should turn out to be only a disability after all.

    Is He Popenjoy?

    Anthony Trollope

  • This disability was removed in 1802, and much benefit is expected to result from this measure.

    Austria

    Frederick Shoberl


British Dictionary definitions for disability

disability

noun plural -ties
  1. the condition of being unable to perform a task or function because of a physical or mental impairment
  2. something that disables; handicap
  3. lack of necessary intelligence, strength, etc
  4. an incapacity in the eyes of the law to enter into certain transactions
Show More

usage

Many deaf and hard of hearing people object to the use of the phrase hearing disability
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 disability

n.

1570s, "want of ability;" see dis- + ability. Related: Disabilities.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

disability in Medicine

disability

(dĭs′ə-bĭlĭ-tē)
n.
  1. A disadvantage or deficiency, especially a physical or mental impairment that prevents or restricts normal achievement.
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.