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disability

[dis-uh-bil-i-tee] /ˌdɪs əˈbɪl ɪ ti/
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 of disability
1570-1580
1570-80; dis-1 + ability
Synonyms
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.
Antonyms
1. ability, capacity.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for disability
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • After a workman had been seven years a member, the gild assured him a livelihood in case of disability from any cause.

    The Thirteenth James J. Walsh
  • Take one child and put him under the disability that the twins were born with.

    Now We Are Three Joe L. Hensley
  • This disability was removed in 1802, and much benefit is expected to result from this measure.

    Austria Frederick Shoberl
  • Only how the bonfires wouldn't burn if it should turn out to be only a disability after all.

    Is He Popenjoy? Anthony Trollope
  • His claim was rejected on the ground that there appeared to be no disability from that cause.

British Dictionary definitions for disability

disability

/ˌdɪsəˈbɪlɪtɪ/
noun (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 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
n.

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)
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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16
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