[dis-uhd-van-tijd, -vahn-]


lacking the normal or usual necessities and comforts of life, as proper housing, educational opportunities, job security, adequate medical care, etc.: The government extends help to disadvantaged minorities.


(used with a plural verb) disadvantaged persons collectively (usually preceded by the): The senator advocates increased funding for federal programs that aid the disadvantaged.

Origin of disadvantaged

First recorded in 1930–35; disadvantage + -ed2
Related formsdis·ad·van·taged·ness, nounnon·dis·ad·van·taged, adjective, noun

Synonyms for disadvantaged


[dis-uhd-van-tij, -vahn-]


absence or deprivation of advantage or equality.
the state or an instance of being in an unfavorable circumstance or condition: to be at a disadvantage.
something that puts one in an unfavorable position or condition: His bad temper is a disadvantage.
injury to interest, reputation, credit, profit, etc.; loss: Your behavior is a disadvantage to your family's good name.

verb (used with object), dis·ad·van·taged, dis·ad·van·tag·ing.

to subject to disadvantage: I was disadvantaged by illness.

Origin of disadvantage

1350–1400; Middle English disavauntage < Anglo-French; Old French desavantage. See dis-1, advantage

Synonyms for disadvantage

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

Related Words for disadvantaged

handicapped, deprived, impoverished, poor, impaired, hindered

Examples from the Web for disadvantaged

Contemporary Examples of disadvantaged

Historical Examples of disadvantaged

British Dictionary definitions for disadvantaged



socially or economically deprived or discriminated against



an unfavourable circumstance, state of affairs, thing, person, etc
injury, loss, or detriment
an unfavourable condition or situation (esp in the phrase at a disadvantage)


(tr) to put at a disadvantage; handicap
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 disadvantaged

1610s, past participle adjective from disadvantage (v.). Of races or classes deprived of opportunities for advancement, from 1902, a word popularized by sociologists. As a noun, shorthand for disadvantaged persons, it is attested by 1939.



late 14c., disavauntage, from Old French desavantage (13c.), from des- (see dis-) + avantage (see advantage).



1530s, from disadvantage (n.). Related: Disadvantaged; disadvantaging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper