disadvantage

noun
dis·​ad·​van·​tage | \ ˌdis-əd-ˈvan-tij How to pronounce disadvantage (audio) \

Definition of disadvantage

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : loss or damage especially to reputation, credit, or finances : detriment the deal worked to their disadvantage
2a : an unfavorable, inferior, or prejudicial condition we were at a disadvantage
b : a quality or circumstance that makes achievement unusually difficult : handicap his lack of formal schooling was a serious disadvantage

disadvantage

verb
disadvantaged; disadvantaging; disadvantages

Definition of disadvantage (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to place at a disadvantage : harm

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Synonyms & Antonyms for disadvantage

Synonyms: Noun

debit, disbenefit, downside, drawback, handicap, incommodity, liability, minus, negative, strike

Antonyms: Noun

advantage, asset, edge, plus

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Examples of disadvantage in a Sentence

Noun

She had the disadvantage of growing up in a poor community. They argued that the new regulations would place their company at a competitive disadvantage in the marketplace. There are advantages and disadvantages to the new system.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Republican lawmakers and business groups are increasingly warning about the administration’s approach, saying that lumping tough, disparate issues together will chill relations with other governments and put American companies at a disadvantage. New York Times, "Trump Mixes Economic and National Security, Plunging the U.S. Into Multiple Fights," 8 June 2019 Google long has struggled to battle back EU regulators who feel its search, advertising and smartphone offerings put its competitors at a disadvantage. Anchorage Daily News, "Facebook, Google and other tech giants to face antitrust investigation by House lawmakers," 4 June 2019 Needless to say this put Qualcomm's competitors—and would-be competitors—at a disadvantage. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "How Qualcomm shook down the cell phone industry for almost 20 years," 30 May 2019 In the college admissions race, the poor and middle class are often at a disadvantage. Ben Steverman, Bloomberg.com, "Rich Parents Have Plenty of Ways to Game the U.S. Education System," 12 Mar. 2019 The president sees the rules set by these organizations as putting the United States at an economic disadvantage. Darlene Superville, The Seattle Times, "Trump to tap David Malpass, critic of World Bank, to lead it," 6 Feb. 2019 And every part of the body has advantages and disadvantages: The immune system is crucial but can be too reactive, leading to autoimmune diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. David P. Barash, WSJ, "‘Good Reasons for Bad Feelings’ Review: Suffering’s Silver Lining," 13 Feb. 2019 Admitting students with academic qualifications significantly below those of their peers puts them at a disadvantage, whatever their race. Heather Mac Donald, WSJ, "Diversity Delusions at North Carolina," 10 Feb. 2019 Some Republicans argue that reducing domestic emissions could put America at a competitive disadvantage. Ryan Costello, WSJ, "Lesson From 2018: Republicans Must Deal With Climate Change," 7 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Investors holding defaulted Venezuela bonds have expressed alarm that such rulings or bond payments by Venezuela could disadvantage the country’s other creditors. Andrew Scurria, WSJ, "Venezuela Uses Bonds to Pay Settlement With Mining Company," 16 Aug. 2018 But the system by and large favors kids who know financing their college education won’t be an issue, further disadvantaging low-income students in a process that already sidelines them. James Wellemeyer, Teen Vogue, "Applying to College Early Is a Privilege Not Every Student Can Afford," 20 Mar. 2019 Some older job seekers lack the right skills or are unable or unwilling to relocate, while others are disadvantaged by new ways of recruiting, such as online tools that use key words to identify candidates for interviews. Ruth Simon, WSJ, "‘Just Unbearable.’ Booming Job Market Can’t Fill the Retirement Shortfall," 20 Dec. 2018 But administration officials insisted that any solutions shouldn’t disadvantage rural areas by treating them differently from urban areas. Paul Ziobro, WSJ, "Postal Service Review Proposes Sweeping Changes Likely to Hit Amazon," 4 Dec. 2018 On one hand, this makes sense; Trump has had a consistently low approval rating, and the political party in power is usually disadvantaged in the midterm elections. Tara Golshan, Vox, "2018 Republican nominees don’t want to talk about Trump," 20 Aug. 2018 In a September letter to U.S. trade authorities, the iPhone maker said tariffs would disadvantage the company compared with foreign competitors and lead to higher U.S. consumer prices. Bob Davis, WSJ, "Trump Expects to Move Ahead With Boost on China Tariffs," 26 Nov. 2018 Time and again, research has shown that public transport in American cities fails to give poorer residents access to jobs, both disadvantaging those individuals, and hampering city economies. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Ride-Hailing Apps May Benefit Poor and Minority Communities The Most, Study Suggests," 30 June 2018 California Republicans overwhelmingly voted for the House Obamacare repeal bill that would have devastated the state’s health care system, and the GOP tax law that disadvantages taxpayers in states like California the most. Tara Golshan, Vox, "How Kevin McCarthy led California Republicans astray," 30 Nov. 2018

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

circa 1550, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for disadvantage

Noun

Middle English disavauntage, from Anglo-French desavantage, from des- dis- + avantage advantage

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Statistics for disadvantage

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for disadvantage

The first known use of disadvantage was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for disadvantage

disadvantage

noun

English Language Learners Definition of disadvantage

: something that causes difficulty : something that makes someone or something worse or less likely to succeed than others
: a bad or undesirable quality or feature
: loss, damage, or harm

disadvantage

noun
dis·​ad·​van·​tage | \ ˌdis-əd-ˈvan-tij How to pronounce disadvantage (audio) \

Kids Definition of disadvantage

: a state or condition that favors someone else Our late start was a disadvantage in the race.

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Comments on disadvantage

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