disability

[dis-uh-bil-i-tee]
noun, plural disabilities for 2.
1.
lack of adequate power, strength, or physical or mental ability; incapacity.
2.
a physical or mental handicap, especially one that prevents a person from living a full, normal life or from holding a gainful job.
3.
anything that disables or puts one at a disadvantage: His mere six-foot height will be a disability in professional basketball.
4.
the state or condition of being disabled.
5.
legal incapacity; legal disqualification.

Origin:
1570–80; dis-1 + ability


1. disqualification, incompetence, incapability, impotence. Disability, inability imply a lack of power or ability. A disability is some disqualifying deprivation or loss of power, physical or other: excused because of a physical disability; a temporary disability. Inability is a lack of ability, usually because of an inherent lack of talent, power, etc.: inability to talk, to do well in higher mathematics.


1. ability, capacity.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
disability (ˌdɪsəˈbɪlɪtɪ)
 
n , pl -ties
1.  the condition of being unable to perform a task or function because of a physical or mental impairment
2.  something that disables; handicap
3.  lack of necessary intelligence, strength, etc
4.  an incapacity in the eyes of the law to enter into certain transactions
 
usage  Many deaf and hard of hearing people object to the use of the phrase hearing disability

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

disability
1570s, from disable + -ity. Related: Disabilities.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

disability dis·a·bil·i·ty (dĭs'ə-bĭl'ĭ-tē)
n.
A disadvantage or deficiency, especially a physical or mental impairment that prevents or restricts normal achievement.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
Dogs respond well when they are trained to help people with disabilities.
Of the four people who participated in the study, two had severe physical
  disabilities.
More important, elders living in this lush subtropical archipelago tend to
  enjoy years free from disabilities.
Some physical and some mental disabilities seem to have combined to alloy and
  hamper his idiosyncrasy.
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