Meaning of DISABILITY in English

|dis sometimes -iz+ noun

Etymology: dis- (I) + ability


a. archaic : inability to do something


(1) : the condition of being disabled : deprivation or lack especially of physical, intellectual, or emotional capacity or fitness ; also : an instance of such a condition : a particular weakness or inadequacy

he appeared sullen, melancholy, tongue-tied — a disability stemming in part from a speech defect — H.M.Ledig-Rowohlt

concluded that his disabilities were his best defense — M.W.Straight

(2) : the inability to pursue an occupation or perform services for wages because of physical or mental impairment

suffering from total disability

receives a disability pension

(3) : the period of duration of such a condition

receives monthly payments during his disability

(4) : a physical or mental illness, injury, or condition that incapacitiates in any way

as a result of a personal accident … he lost his right arm, but he overcame this disability — O.S.Nock

(5) : a material object or condition that hinders, impedes, or incapacitates : handicap

the placement of the elevators is not so serious a disability on the upper floors — Lewis Mumford


a. : lack of legal qualification to do a thing : legal incapacity, incompetence, or disqualification

disability of infancy

a law placing severe disabilities upon Catholics and Jews

also : an instance or cause of such incapacity


(1) : a nonlegal disqualification, restriction, or discrimination

nominally free, but actually subject to numerous social and economic disabilities

a person with even the most tenuous Communist affiliation from years ago may suffer disabilities that could ruin his entire future career — A.H.Sulzberger

(2) : disadvantage

discussed the benefits and disabilities of price controls

the special disabilities under which the industry operates

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.