[ dis-ey-buhl ]
/ dɪsˈeɪ bəl /

verb (used with object), dis·a·bled, dis·a·bling.

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.

Nearby words

  1. dis.,
  2. disability,
  3. disability clause,
  4. disability insurance,
  5. disability rights commission,
  6. disabled,
  7. disabled list,
  8. disablement,
  9. disablement benefit,
  10. disablism

Origin of disable

First recorded in 1475–85; dis-1 + able

Related formsdis·a·ble·ment, noundis·a·bler, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for disablement

British Dictionary definitions for disablement


/ (dɪsˈeɪbəl) /

verb (tr)

to make ineffective, unfit, or incapable, as by crippling
to make or pronounce legally incapable
to switch off (an electronic device)
Derived Formsdisablement, 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

Word Origin and History for disablement



mid-15c., from dis- "do the opposite of" + ablen (v.) "to make fit" (see able). Related: Disabled; disabling. Earlier in the same sense was unable (v.) "make unfit, render unsuitable" (c.1400).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper