lacking the normal or usual necessities and comforts of life, as proper housing, educational opportunities, job security, adequate medical care, etc.: The government extends help to disadvantaged minorities.
(used with a plural verb) disadvantaged persons collectively (usually preceded by the ): The senator advocates increased funding for federal programs that aid the disadvantaged.
1610s, pp. adj. from disadvantage. Of races or classes deprived of opportunities for advancement, from 1902, a word popularized by sociologists. As a noun, shorthand for disadvantaged persons, it is attested by 1939.