[ han-dee-kapt ]
See synonyms for handicapped on Thesaurus.com
  1. Sometimes Offensive. physically or mentally disabled.

  2. of or designed for handicapped people: handicapped parking.

  1. Sports. (of a competitor) marked by, being under, or having a handicap: a handicapped player.

nounUsually the handicapped .(used with a plural verb)
  1. Often Offensive. disabled persons collectively.

Origin of handicapped

First recorded in 1910–15; handicap + -ed3

usage note For handicapped

See cripple.

Other words from handicapped

  • mul·ti·hand·i·capped, adjective
  • non·hand·i·capped, adjective
  • un·hand·i·capped, adjective

Words Nearby handicapped

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use handicapped in a sentence

  • My work has been greatly handicapped of late by lack of certain books to which I wanted to refer.

    First Plays | A. A. Milne
  • But poor Lancing was seriously handicapped by the fact that he had a woman for his antagonist.

    The Weight of the Crown | Fred M. White
  • Thus, special assistance may be given for starting in trade persons handicapped by their infirmities.

  • He was handicapped by the fact that he did not quite dare to put all his back and shoulders into the preliminary shove.

    The Boy Grew Older | Heywood Broun
  • But as for getting tangible help from the Creator of a body handicapped by nerves like his!

    Red Pepper Burns | Grace S. Richmond

British Dictionary definitions for handicapped


/ (ˈhændɪˌkæpt) /

  1. physically disabled

  2. psychol denoting a person whose social behaviour or emotional reactions are in some way impaired

  1. (of a competitor) assigned a handicap

usage For handicapped

Nowadays the use of the word handicapped to describe people with disabilities is generally considered inappropriate. It is preferable to refer to someone as having a disability and to talk about people with disabilities

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