- Sometimes Offensive. physically or mentally disabled.
- of or designed for handicapped people: handicapped parking.
- Sports. (of a competitor) marked by, being under, or having a handicap: a handicapped player.
- (used with a plural verb) Sometimes Offensive. handicapped persons collectively (usually preceded by the): increased job opportunities for the handicapped.
Origin of handicapped
- a race or other contest in which certain disadvantages or advantages of weight, distance, time, etc., are placed upon competitors to equalize their chances of winning.
- the disadvantage or advantage itself.
- any disadvantage that makes success more difficult: The main handicap of our business is lack of capital.
- Sometimes Offensive. a physical or mental disability making participation in certain of the usual activities of daily living more difficult.
- to place at a disadvantage; disable or burden: He was handicapped by his injured ankle.
- to subject to a disadvantageous handicap, as a competitor of recognized superiority.
- to assign handicaps to (competitors).
- to attempt to predict the winner of (a contest, especially a horse race), as by comparing past performances of the contestants.
- to assign odds for or against (any particular contestant) to win a contest or series of contests: He handicapped the Yankees at 2-to-1 to take the series from the Cardinals.
Origin of handicap
SynonymsSee more synonyms for handicap on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for handicapped
He is not lingering in illness, or crippled, or handicapped.The Death of a Rodeo Cowboy
May 11, 2014
We lost a million individuals in that war…and another million were handicapped.Afghanistan: Building a Vision Of Hope and Change
April 17, 2014
Saenz set an orange plastic sled at the top of a handicapped access ramp.Philip Seymour Hoffman and the Mourner’s Playground
February 4, 2014
The former pediatrician was also instrumental in protecting the rights of children born with birth defects and the handicapped.The Deaths You Missed This Year
Malcolm Jones, Jimmy So, Michael Moynihan, Caitlin Dickson
December 30, 2013
Abolish copayment for the unemployed, students, the handicapped, and poor pensioners.Greek Election Deepens Political Chaos and Prospect of Default
May 7, 2012
You will not want the care of her––young people should not be handicapped in that way.Rim o' the World
B. M. Bower
I will plod for hours and hours at a time, and at every turn I am handicapped.Psychotherapy
You overweight your boy going off and he will be handicapped out of the race, too.Sonnie-Boy's People
James B. Connolly
They were handicapped by the burros, though, which helped us.Pluck on the Long Trail
Edwin L. Sabin
He was handicapped as he had been all along by the absence of the vines one could use for lashings.Storm Over Warlock
- physically disabled
- psychol denoting a person whose social behaviour or emotional reactions are in some way impaired
- (of a competitor) assigned a handicap
- something that hampers or hinders
- a contest, esp a race, in which competitors are given advantages or disadvantages of weight, distance, time, etc, in an attempt to equalize their chances of winning
- the advantage or disadvantage prescribed
- golf the number of strokes by which a player's averaged score exceeds the standard scratch score for the particular course: used as the basis for handicapping in competitive play
- any physical disability or disadvantage resulting from physical, mental, or social impairment or abnormality
- to be a hindrance or disadvantage to
- to assign a handicap or handicaps to
- to organize (a contest) by handicapping
- US and Canadian
- to attempt to forecast the winner of (a contest, esp a horse race)
- to assign odds for or against (a contestant)
Word Origin and History for handicapped
"disabled," 1915, past participle adjective from handicap (v.). Originally especially of children. Meaning "handicapped persons generally" is attested by 1958.
1650s, from hand in cap, a game whereby two bettors would engage a neutral umpire to determine the odds in an unequal contest. The bettors would put their hands holding forfeit money into a hat or cap. The umpire would announce the odds and the bettors would withdraw their hands -- hands full meaning that they accepted the odds and the bet was on, hands empty meaning they did not accept the bet and were willing to forfeit the money. If one forfeited, then the money went to the other. If both agreed either on forfeiting or going ahead with the wager, then the umpire kept the money as payment. The custom, though not the name, is attested from 14c. ("Piers Plowman").
Reference to horse racing is 1754 (Handy-Cap Match), where the umpire decrees the superior horse should carry extra weight as a "handicap;" this led to sense of "encumbrance, disability" first recorded 1890. The main modern sense, "disability," is the last to develop, early 20c.
- A physical, mental, or emotional condition that interferes with one's normal functioning.