verb (used with object), in·ca·pac·i·tat·ed, in·ca·pac·i·tat·ing.

to deprive of ability, qualification, or strength; make incapable or unfit; disable.
Law. to deprive of the legal power to act in a specified way or ways.

Origin of incapacitate

First recorded in 1650–60; incapacit(y) + -ate1
Related formsin·ca·pac·i·ta·tion, noun

Synonyms for incapacitate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for incapacitate

Contemporary Examples of incapacitate

Historical Examples of incapacitate

  • He should be able to incapacitate two or three and break out.

    Monkey On His Back

    Charles V. De Vet

  • There's a break in sanitation that could incapacitate your whole command.

    The Lani People

    J. F. Bone

  • A few years' knowledge of other countries than our own will not incapacitate me for that part.

  • If it did not incapacitate him for action, he held it of no account.

    Glimpses of Three Coasts

    Helen Hunt Jackson

  • Why should there be such things as headaches, to incapacitate a man from work?

    The Admiral

    Douglas Sladen

British Dictionary definitions for incapacitate


verb (tr)

to deprive of power, strength, or capacity; disable
to deprive of legal capacity or eligibility
Derived Formsincapacitation, 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 incapacitate

1650s, from incapacity + -ate. Related: Incapacitated; incapacitating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper