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  1. unable to act, respond, or the like (often used euphemistically when one is busy or otherwise occupied): He can't come to the phone now—he's incapacitated.
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Origin of incapacitated

First recorded in 1795–1805; incapacitate + -ed2


verb (used with object), in·ca·pac·i·tat·ed, in·ca·pac·i·tat·ing.
  1. to deprive of ability, qualification, or strength; make incapable or unfit; disable.
  2. Law. to deprive of the legal power to act in a specified way or ways.
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Origin of incapacitate

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


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for incapacitated


verb (tr)
  1. to deprive of power, strength, or capacity; disable
  2. to deprive of legal capacity or eligibility
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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 incapacitated



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper