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See more synonyms for incapacity on Thesaurus.com
  1. lack of ability, qualification, or strength; incapability.
  2. Law. lack of the legal power to act in a specified way or ways.
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Origin of incapacity

From the Late Latin word incapācitās, dating back to 1605–15. See in-3, capacity
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for incapacity


noun plural -ties
  1. lack of power, strength, or capacity; inability
  2. law
    1. legal disqualification or ineligibility
    2. a circumstance causing this
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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 incapacity


1610s, from French incapacité (16c.), from Medieval Latin incapacitatem (nominative incapacitas), from Late Latin incapax (genitive incapacis) "incapable," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + Latin capax "capable," literally "able to hold much," from capere "to take" (see capable). Often used 17c. as a legal term referring to inability to take, receive, or deal with in some way.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper