disability

noun
dis·​abil·​i·​ty | \ ˌdis-ə-ˈbi-lə-tē How to pronounce disability (audio) \

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 minor
b : 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

PBAA Executive Director Joe Banda said assistance dogs increase mobility in the home and in the workplace for amputees and people with other disabilities. chicagotribune.com, "Assistance dogs in West Texas make life easier for owners," 10 Sep. 2019 Hundreds of volunteers are needed to rake yards and bag leaves for seniors and people with disabilities in the St. Croix River Valley. Mary Divine, Twin Cities, "St. Croix Valley volunteers needed to rake leaves for seniors, disabled," 9 Sep. 2019 The aim is to raise $6,000 to help the organization’s mission of aiding people with developmental disabilities. Daily Pilot, "Around Town: Blessing of the Waves returns to Surf City on Sunday," 5 Sep. 2019 This event is open to kids with intellectual and physical disabilities from ages 5-18. Emily Sorensen, Pomerado News, "Tickets available for 47th annual Poway Rodeo," 4 Sep. 2019 One thing that Hensley has tried to make clear in her responses is that the U.S. Department of Transportation mandates that miniature horses are allowed to accompany those with disabilities in the cabin of an airplane. Hannah Chubb, PEOPLE.com, "Miniature Service Horse Travels With Her Owner on American Airlines Flight from Chicago," 3 Sep. 2019 Since its first meeting in 1989, the Arc of Katy has worked to help Katy ISD students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Roy Kent, Houston Chronicle, "Arc of Katy begins new year with busy September, activities for participants, community," 3 Sep. 2019 The foundation has also partnered to support fitness and wellness programs for students at inner-city schools, and support artists with severe disabilities. Jori Epstein, USA TODAY, "‘Goodness, I’m getting emotional’: How Cowboys QB Dak Prescott brought Jerry Jones to tears at gala," 27 Aug. 2019 The playground in Manchester’s Christmas Tree park may be the most accessible for children with disabilities in Carroll County. Jon Kelvey, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Hailey’s Wish holding benefit to resurface, add equipment to accessible playground in Manchester," 22 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disability.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of disability

1545, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for disability

dis- + ability, after disable

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Statistics for disability

Last Updated

10 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for disability

The first known use of disability was in 1545

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More Definitions for disability

disability

noun
dis·​abil·​i·​ty | \ ˌdi-sə-ˈbi-lə-tē How to pronounce disability (audio) \
plural disabilities

Kids Definition of disability

: a condition (as one present at birth or caused by injury) that damages or limits a person's abilities : the state of being disabled

disability

noun
dis·​abil·​i·​ty | \ ˌdis-ə-ˈbil-ət-ē How to pronounce disability (audio) \
plural disabilities

Medical 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 also : impaired function or ability 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 (as a chronic medical condition or injury) that prevents someone from engaging in gainful employment
(2) : an impairment (as spina bifida) that results in serious functional limitations for a minor
b : a program providing financial support to a person affected by disability

disability

noun
dis·​abil·​i·​ty
plural disabilities

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

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Comments on disability

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