9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[dis-uh-bil-i-tee] /ˌdɪs əˈbɪl ɪ ti/
noun, plural disabilities for 2.
lack of adequate power, strength, or physical or mental ability; incapacity.
a physical or mental handicap, especially one that prevents a person from living a full, normal life or from holding a gainful job.
anything that disables or puts one at a disadvantage:
His mere six-foot height will be a disability in professional basketball.
the state or condition of being disabled.
legal incapacity; legal disqualification.
Origin of disability
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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for disability
  • Most people will experience a physical or mental disability during their lifetimes.
  • He mainly practices disability law, with good reason.
  • One of the reasons they gave for not enforcing their claim was my disability.
  • In the civilian world, it's illegal to deny health coverage or disability benefits on the basis of genetic information.
  • disability benefits have been generous, and qualification for the scheme has been lightly policed.
  • Although a disability for many,both fear and pain have saved life on more than one occasion.
  • The first criterion for calling something psychopathological is certainly disability.
  • Until recently, cognitive psychologists thought that dyslexia was a specific disability that affected only reading and writing.
  • The precedents for the much more important battles that lie ahead-particularly over disability benefits-are not encouraging.
  • People who are blind in one eye suffer from this disability.
British Dictionary definitions for disability


noun (pl) -ties
the condition of being unable to perform a task or function because of a physical or mental impairment
something that disables; handicap
lack of necessary intelligence, strength, etc
an incapacity in the eyes of the law to enter into certain transactions
Usage note
Many deaf and hard of hearing people object to the use of the phrase hearing disability
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
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Word Origin and History for disability

1570s, "want of ability;" see dis- + ability. Related: Disabilities.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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disability in Medicine

disability dis·a·bil·i·ty (dĭs'ə-bĭl'ĭ-tē)
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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