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 (hăn′dē-kăpt′) Usage Problem
1. Physically or mentally disabled: a pool equipped for handicapped swimmers.
2. Intended for people who have a disability: a handicapped parking space.
n. (used with a pl. verb)
People who have a disability considered as a group. Often used with the.
Usage Note: Although handicapped is widely used in both law and everyday speech to refer to people having physical or mental disabilities, those described by the word tend to prefer the expressions disabled or people with disabilities. Handicapped may imply a helplessness that is not suggested by the more forthright disabled. It is also felt that some stigma may attach to the word handicapped because of its origin in the phrase hand in cap, actually derived from a game of chance but sometimes mistakenly believed to involve the image of a beggar. See Usage Note at disabled.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Medicine) physically disabled
2. (Psychology) psychol denoting a person whose social behaviour or emotional reactions are in some way impaired
3. (Individual Sports, other than specified) (of a competitor) assigned a handicap
Usage: Nowadays the use of the word handicapped to describe people with disabilities is generally considered inappropriate. It is preferable to refer to someone as having a disability and to talk about people with disabilities
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈhæn diˌkæpt)
usage: See cripple.

1. physically or mentally disabled.
2. (of a contestant) marked by, being under, or having a handicap.
3. the handicapped, handicapped persons collectively.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.



Someone who is disabled has an illness, injury or condition that restricts the way they can live, especially by making it difficult for them to move about.

There are many practical problems encountered by disabled people in the workplace.

Some people use handicapped with this meaning, but many people find this offensive.

The most sensitive ways of referring to people with a restricting physical condition are to call them people with disabilities or people with special needs.

Those who will gain the most are people with disabilities and their carers.
Employers should pay for the training of young people with special needs.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.handicapped - people collectively who are crippled or otherwise physically handicappedhandicapped - people collectively who are crippled or otherwise physically handicapped; "technology to help the elderly and the disabled"
people - (plural) any group of human beings (men or women or children) collectively; "old people"; "there were at least 200 people in the audience"
the halt - (archaic) lame persons collectively; "the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind"--Luke 14:21
Adj.1.handicapped - incapable of functioning as a consequence of injury or illness
unfit - not in good physical or mental condition; out of condition; "fat and very unfit"; "certified as unfit for army service"; "drunk and unfit for service"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


adjective disabled, impaired, invalid, incapacitated, infirm financial help for visually handicapped workers
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
장애가 있는
tàn tật


A. ADJ mentally handicappedmentalmente discapacitado, psíquicamente disminuido
physically handicappedminusválido, (físicamente) discapacitado
to be mentally/physically handicappedtener una discapacidad mental/física, ser (un) discapacitado mental/físico
B. N the handicappedlos minusválidos, los discapacitados
the mentally handicappedlos discapacitados mentales, los disminuidos psíquicos
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


adj (= disabled) → handicapé(e)
mentally handicapped → handicapé(e) mentalement
physically handicapped → handicapé(e) physiquement
the handicapped (= the disabled) → les handicapés mpl
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


[ˈhændɪˌkæpt] adjhandicappato/a, portatore/trice di handicap
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(ˈhӕndikӕp) noun
1. something that makes doing something more difficult. The loss of a finger would be a handicap for a pianist.
2. (in a race, competition etc) a disadvantage of some sort (eg having to run a greater distance in a race) given to the best competitors so that others have a better chance of winning.
3. a race, competition etc in which this happens.
4. (a form of) physical or mental disability. children with physical handicaps.
verbpast tense, past participle ˈhandicapped
to make something (more) difficult for. He wanted to be a pianist, but was handicapped by his deafness.
ˈhandicapped adjective
He is physically handicapped and cannot walk; a handicapped child.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


مُعَاق postižený handicappet behindert ανάπηρος discapacitado, minusválido vammainen handicapé hendikepiran disabile 障害のある 장애가 있는 gehandicapt handikappet upośledzony deficiente неполноценный funktionshindrad พิการ özürlü tàn tật 残疾的
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009


(ant) V. disabled.
English-Spanish/Spanish-English Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Then, too, he was handicapped by the possession of a great fund of experience with girls and women who had been absolutely different from her.
He was so handicapped by illiteracy and by his trusting disposition that he would be an easy prey to sharpers.
No doubt I am handicapped by a certain respectful homage which I always feel involuntarily to any one in the shape of woman, for anything savouring of respect is the last thing to win the bar-maid heart divine.
Tess really wished to walk uprightly, while her father did nothing of the kind; but she resembled him in being content with immediate and small achievements, and in having no mind for laborious effort towards such petty social advancement as could alone be effected by a family so heavily handicapped as the once powerful d'Urbervilles were now.
He compared judgments, reaching conclusions--not always correct ones, it is true, but at least he used his brain for the purpose God intended it, which was the less difficult because he was not handicapped by the second-hand, and usually erroneous, judgment of others.
Seeing that they stood without advancing, and realizing that, handicapped as he was by the weight of the she, he could put up but a poor battle, Taglat elected to risk a sudden break for liberty.
But out of his native element the ape-man was too greatly handicapped to do more than excite the monster to greater speed as it dragged its prey swiftly through the water.
Bulan, notwithstanding the running battle the two bulls were forcing upon him, was gaining steadily upon the fleeing ourang outang that was handicapped by the weight of the fair captive he bore in his huge, hairy arms.
But handicapped by the struggling boy he had not time to turn the key before the officer threw himself against the panels and burst out before the master of fence, closely followed by the Lady Maud.
He felt himself handicapped in the presence of Tudor, who had the gift of making a show of all his qualities.
Old Marrow-Bone, deserted and far behind, was tottering silently along in his handicapped race with death.
Nutty seized him by the arm, hospitable though handicapped.