|Updated on: 17 Aug 2018

Definition of disabled

1 a : 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

Examples of disabled in a Sentence

  1. The organization is working to protect the rights of disabled veterans.

  2. the disabled man was unable to climb the stairs without help

Recent Examples of disabled from the Web

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.

First Known Use of disabled


in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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DISABLED Defined for Kids


adjective dis·abled \ dis-ˈā-bəld \

Definition of disabled for Students

: 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 Dictionary


adjective dis·abled

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

Law Dictionary



legal Definition of disabled

: having a disability

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excessive admiration or flattery

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