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[in-kuh-pas-i-tey-tid] /ˌɪn kəˈpæs ɪˌteɪ tɪd/
unable to act, respond, or the like (often used euphemistically when one is busy or otherwise occupied):
He can't come to the phone now—he's incapacitated.
Origin of incapacitated
1795-1805; incapacitate + -ed2


[in-kuh-pas-i-teyt] /ˌɪn kəˈpæs ɪˌteɪt/
verb (used with object), incapacitated, incapacitating.
to deprive of ability, qualification, or strength; make incapable or unfit; disable.
Law. to deprive of the legal power to act in a specified way or ways.
1650-60; incapacit(y) + -ate1
Related forms
incapacitation, noun
1. cripple, handicap, sideline. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for incapacitated
  • They were weakened by hunger, crippled by festering sores, incapacitated by malaria and dysentery.
  • He had been ill and incapacitated for duty for several months past.
  • Some are temporarily incapacitated with injuries or illness.
  • One of these could take over in the event one or even two of the other systems became incapacitated.
  • Under the law, each partner may take decisions on behalf of the other if the other is incapacitated.
  • Jim may have been physically incapacitated at the time of the emergency.
  • Even cars with standard tyres are not always incapacitated by the spikes.
  • And occasionally, people die within hours of being incapacitated.
  • Even cars with ordinary tyres are not always incapacitated by the spikes.
  • Most of their mail servers were incapacitated by an overwhelming volume of mail.
British Dictionary definitions for incapacitated


verb (transitive)
to deprive of power, strength, or capacity; disable
to deprive of legal capacity or eligibility
Derived Forms
incapacitation, 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 incapacitated



1650s, from incapacity + -ate. Related: Incapacitated; incapacitating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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