[ han-dee-kapt ]
/ ˈhæn diˌkæpt /


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

First recorded in 1910–15; handicap + -ed3

OTHER WORDS FROM handicapped

mul·ti·hand·i·capped, adjectivenon·hand·i·capped, adjectiveun·hand·i·capped, adjective

usage note for handicapped

See cripple.

Definition for handicapped (2 of 2)

[ han-dee-kap ]
/ ˈhæn diˌkæp /


verb (used with object), hand·i·capped, hand·i·cap·ping.

Origin of handicap

1640–50; 1870–75 for def 8; orig. hand i' cap hand in cap, referring to a drawing before a horse race


non·hand·i·cap, nouno·ver·hand·i·cap, verb (used with object), o·ver·hand·i·capped, o·ver·hand·i·cap·ping.pre·hand·i·cap, noun, verb (used with object), pre·hand·i·capped, pre·hand·i·cap·ping.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for handicapped

  • You are terribly 'handicapped' as the racing people call it.

    Perlycross|R. D. Blackmore

British Dictionary definitions for handicapped (1 of 2)

/ (ˈhændɪˌkæpt) /


physically disabled
psychol denoting a person whose social behaviour or emotional reactions are in some way impaired
(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

British Dictionary definitions for handicapped (2 of 2)

/ (ˈhændɪˌkæp) /


verb -caps, -capping or -capped (tr)

Word Origin for handicap

C17: probably from hand in cap, a lottery game in which players drew forfeits from a cap or deposited money in it
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

Medical definitions for handicapped

[ hăndē-kăp′ ]


A physical, mental, or emotional condition that interferes with one's normal functioning.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.