dis·​ad·​van·​taged | \-tijd \

Definition of disadvantaged 

: lacking in the basic resources or conditions (such as standard housing, medical and educational facilities, and civil rights) believed to be necessary for an equal position in society

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Other Words from disadvantaged

disadvantagedness \-​tijd-​nəs \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for disadvantaged


depressed, deprived, underprivileged


advantaged, privileged

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Examples of disadvantaged in a Sentence

The program provides aid for economically disadvantaged groups. disadvantaged families struggling to get by in the inner city

Recent Examples on the Web

Women and girls in Ethiopia are strongly disadvantaged compared to boys and men in several areas, including literacy, health, livelihoods and basic human rights. Elias Meseret, The Seattle Times, "Ethiopia’s new Cabinet 50 percent women, including defense," 16 Oct. 2018 Teams visit local schools to tell the children about apprenticeships, and over 30% of trainees come from disadvantaged areas. The Economist, "A welcome upgrade to apprenticeships," 12 July 2018 The camp at Lake Jacomo allows disabled and disadvantaged youths enjoy a summer camp experience for free. Matt Campbell, kansascity, "Royals' Greater Kansas City Day 2018 looking like 'one of the best' for charity | The Kansas City Star," 29 Mar. 2018 Part of Lime’s strategy has been to provide customized mobility options for disadvantaged communities to help fill gaps in transit access. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "Lime’s scooters will now be integrated into the ride-hailing giant’s app.," 9 July 2018 In the meantime, starting in the fall of 2019, 20 percent of seats at the specialized schools will be assigned to disadvantaged students from high-poverty schools who score just shy of the cutoff score on the SHSAT. Harry Bruinius, The Christian Science Monitor, "'Keep the test!' A debate flares over exam-based public high schools.," 6 July 2018 Supporters say dropping the test requirement is intended to encourage more disadvantaged students to apply, thereby providing wider access. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "Why the University of Chicago Is Dropping Its SAT/ACT Test Requirement," 15 June 2018 Kirkpatrick's 21 Kids Foundation describes itself as an early resource to at risk and disadvantaged children through mentorships, academic and emotional support, and the promotion of healthy lifestyles. Dave Clark, Cincinnati.com, "Bengals' Dre Kirkpatrick takes kids on back-to-school shopping spree in Alabama," 13 July 2018 Collection bins at the San Diego County Fair exits allow people to donate their prizes to local disadvantaged children through its Care ’n Share Toy Drive. sandiegouniontribune.com, "Toy drive collects, donates unwanted fair prizes," 29 June 2018

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

1893, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

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The first known use of disadvantaged was in 1893

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English Language Learners Definition of disadvantaged

: lacking the things (such as money and education) that are considered necessary for an equal position in society

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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