Definition of disability
1 : a physical, mental, cognitive, or developmental condition that impairs, interferes with, or limits a person's ability to engage in certain tasks or actions or participate in typical daily activities and interactions Scientists have tentatively linked the reading disability known as dyslexia to a bevy of brain disturbances. — Science News How, with his severe disability, has Hawking been able to out-think and out-intuit his leading colleague-competitors … — Kip S. Thorne Yet one ends up admiring him for his devotion to the disability that could have unmade his career as an actor. It is through his deafness that we hear his story. — Lennard J. Davis; also : impaired function or ability Sarcopenia is a loss of muscle mass and strength that normally occurs with aging, and it's a major cause of frailty and disability in the elderly. — Andrew Weil Thrombolytic therapy has been used in patients with acute ischemic stroke to restore cerebral blood flow, reduce ischemia, and limit neurologic disability. — Werner Hacke — see also intellectual disability, learning disability
2a (1) : an impairment (such as a chronic medical condition or injury) that prevents someone from engaging in gainful employment … monthly payment to which a worker is entitled upon retirement or disability under the federal social security system … — Robert I. Mehr (2) : an impairment (such as spina bifida) that results in serious functional limitations for a minorb : a program providing financial support to a person affected by disability … those who fit the criteria for dysthymia were more likely to have physical and emotional problems and more likely to be on Medicaid or Social Security disability than those with acute depression. — Melinda Beck; also : the financial support provided by such a program … he collects disability on account of his exposure to Agent Orange during his years as an Army MP in Vietnam. — Jason Fagone
3 : a disqualification, restriction, or disadvantage economic disabilities
4 : lack of legal qualification to do something … Defoe … dramatised the gravity of the problem in the morally desperate expedient which Roxana is forced to adopt to overcome the legal disabilities of women. — Ian Watt
Examples of disability in a sentence
She has learned to keep a positive attitude about her disability.
disabilities such as blindness and deafness
a program for children with disabilities
It's a serious disease that can cause disability or death.
After he injured his back he had to quit his job and go on disability.
First Known Use of disability
DISABILITY Defined for Kids
Definition of disability for Students
: a condition (as one present at birth or caused by injury) that damages or limits a person's abilities : the state of being disabled
Medical Definition of disability
1: the condition of being disabled
2: limitation in the ability to pursue an occupation because of physical or mental impairment
3: a physical or mental illness, injury, or condition that incapacitates in any way; also : a program providing financial support to one affected by disability went on disability after the injury
Legal Definition of disability
1 : inability to pursue an occupation because of a physical or mental impairment; specifically : inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity because of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that can be expected to result in death or to be of long continued or indefinite duration in accordance with the Social Security Act — see also benefit, Americans with Disabilities Act — compare incapacity, occupational disease
2 : lack of legal qualification to do something a minor's disability
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up disability? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).