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[dis-ey-buh l] /dɪsˈeɪ bəl/
verb (used with object), disabled, disabling.
to make unable or unfit; weaken or destroy the capability of; incapacitate: The detective successfully disabled the bomb.
He was disabled by the accident.
to make legally incapable; disqualify.
Origin of disable
1475-85; dis-1 + able
Related forms
disablement, noun
disabler, noun
1. enfeeble, paralyze. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for disable
  • Unplug the network cable and disable any wireless networking.
  • To think something as simple as a different typeface could aid in restoring the ability to read to the disable is spectacular.
  • It is perhaps more surprising that there also seems to be demand for products that disable features.
  • disable its action and muscles will grow in parts of the anatomy where other animals do not even have them.
  • The more complex communications networks become, the harder it is to disable them swiftly, remotely or unilaterally.
  • He wonders whether spooked patients might disable all this clever kit.
  • Sometimes these disable the anti-proliferation genes.
  • Users can remove or disable apps installed on phones.
  • We consulted with our maintenance department by radio and were advised to disable the right hand stall warning system.
  • It is far easier for birds to disable a plane with two engines than one with four engines.
British Dictionary definitions for disable


verb (transitive)
to make ineffective, unfit, or incapable, as by crippling
to make or pronounce legally incapable
to switch off (an electronic device)
Derived Forms
disablement, 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
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Word Origin and History for disable

mid-15c., from dis- "do the opposite of" + ablen (v.) "to make fit" (see able). Related: Disabled; disabling. Earlier in the same sense was unable (v.) "make unfit, render unsuitable" (c.1400).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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