dis·​abled dis-ˈā-bəld How to pronounce disabled (audio)
: impaired or limited by a physical, mental, cognitive, or developmental condition : affected by disability
Decades of government policy and a Supreme Court decision … have established that public services for all disabled people must be provided in the least restrictive and most integrated environment possible.Sallie Tisdale
For disabled travelers—or anyone nursing an injury—successful trips require planning. … Rugged or remote areas may require some give and take on your part, including physical assistance or workarounds.Linda Burbank
… 4,000 disabled athletes from 125 nations competing in 18 sports.John Shaw
: incapacitated by illness or injury
… 17.4% of all match-ending injuries, were attributable to OT (orthopedic trauma). Two such stoppages involved multiple roundhouse kicks directed at the lateral aspect of the knee. The disabled competitors were unable to continue because of marked pain with weight bearing.George J. Buse and Robert M. Wood
of a device or mechanism : rendered inoperative (as by being damaged or deliberately altered)
a disabled alarm
They would have pulled out but they were waiting on the Iraqi police to finish their report and there was the issue of the disabled fuel truck …David Abrams

Examples of disabled in a Sentence

The organization is working to protect the rights of disabled veterans. the disabled man was unable to climb the stairs without help
Recent Examples on the Web The group disabled comments on its Instagram page after splitting with Weinberg On Sunday, Weinberg shared a photo of himself maskless playing his drum kit. Alexandra Del Rosario, Los Angeles Times, 13 Nov. 2023 While that case is moving forward, the sheriff agreed this summer to make some changes to accommodate disabled people in her custody. Jeff McDonald, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Nov. 2023 Marginalized groups include those who identify as women, religious groups, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), immigrants, or members of the neurodivergent, disabled, and LGBTQ+ communities. Claire Gillespie, Health, 10 Nov. 2023 Since the program’s start in 1971, older and disabled adults have received more than $7.6 billion in property tax and rent relief, per the state. Rachel Schilke, Washington Examiner, 27 Oct. 2023 But consider this from the Social Security Administration: About 1 in 4 of today’s 20-year-olds will become disabled before reaching 67. Michelle Singletary, Washington Post, 27 Oct. 2023 Editor’s picks The latter quality comes courtesy of Mizu’s disabled would-be apprentice Ringo (played in warmly appealing fashion by Heroes alum Masi Oka), who has learned to navigate life despite his lumbering size and lack of hands. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 9 Nov. 2023 Her family -- including her husband, their three children and her disabled father, as well as her husband's mother and four of his siblings -- set out at 9 a.m. Monday. Compiled By Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 7 Nov. 2023 Resident Tabitha White, 39, a disabled stay at home mom, brought her 12-year-old son to help Stewart. Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Washington Post, 6 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'disabled.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


from past participle of disable

First Known Use

1633, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of disabled was in 1633

Dictionary Entries Near disabled

Cite this Entry

“Disabled.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disabled. Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: deprived of the power to perform one or more tasks (as climbing stairs or lifting heavy items) by illness or injury
also : functioning physically or mentally below normal levels in a way that limits or interferes with one's ability to receive an education or perform a job

Medical Definition


: impaired or limited by a physical, mental, cognitive, or developmental condition : affected by disability
: incapacitated by illness, injury, or wounds

Legal Definition


: having a disability

More from Merriam-Webster on disabled

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