Definition of disabled

1a : 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
b : 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
2 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

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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

Hard braking was still disabled in March when Elaine Herzberg stepped into the Tempe roadway ahead of an Uber vehicle. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Report: Uber self-driving team was preparing for CEO demo before fatal crash," 20 Nov. 2018 Jamel Dunn, who was disabled and walked with a cane, can be seen in the footage treading water in the middle of the pond before going under. Chris Harris, PEOPLE.com, "Florida Teens Who Filmed, Mocked Drowning Disabled Man and Didn't Get Help Won't Face Charges," 25 June 2018 Protest arrests can be a badge of honor for some activists, but ending up in police custody can involve risks, especially for people of color, disabled people, LGBTQ people, or others. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "5 Protest Tactics We Loved in 2018," 29 Dec. 2018 The weapon-release system has probably been disabled and there’s no mention of the Phazotron RLPK-29 fire-control radar system. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "For Sale: One MiG-29 Fighter Jet, Gently Used," 9 Jan. 2019 On his page, Wheelchair_Fashion, Tokunaga shares his work as a stylist while addressing the need for greater visibility for the disabled and increased access within design spaces. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Tokyo’s Newest Fashion Star Is Changing the Conversation About Disability One Instagram at a Time," 5 Sep. 2018 When the nation’s first playground constructed for both disabled and able-bodied children opened in 1984 in New York City, the project cost $3,353,000. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Why cities need accessible playgrounds," 20 July 2018 The housing bond would raise taxes on city of San Diego property owners an average of $72 per year to pay for 7,500 subsidized apartments for the chronically homeless, veterans, senior citizens, the disabled and low-income families. David Garrick, sandiegouniontribune.com, "$900M housing bond still alive pending fate of convention center measure," 11 July 2018 Dozens of those killed — including children, the disabled and the elderly — were burned alive. Siobhán O'grady, Washington Post, "South Sudanese troops raped and killed hundreds in recent attacks, U.N. investigation finds," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disabled.' 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 disabled

1633, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for disabled

Last Updated

30 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for disabled

The first known use of disabled was in 1633

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More Definitions for disabled


dis·​abled | \ dis-ˈā-bəld\

Kids Definition of disabled

: not having the ability to do certain mental or physical tasks (as because of illness, injury, or a condition present at birth) that a person is typically capable of doing



Medical Definition of disabled

: incapacitated by illness, injury, or wounds also : physically or mentally impaired in a way that substantially limits activity especially in relation to employment or education



Legal Definition of disabled

: having a disability

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Comments on disabled

What made you want to look up disabled? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

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