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


disadvantaged; disadvantaging; disadvantages

Definition of disadvantage (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to place at a disadvantage : harm

Synonyms & Antonyms for disadvantage

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Injuries could leave the Ravens’ secondary at a disadvantage against a Miami Dolphins receiving corps headlined by Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Jonas Shaffer, Baltimore Sun, 16 Sep. 2022 Without spoiling too much, Ness did identify and interrogate a prime suspect despite this disadvantage, a sometime mental asylum patient who was the cousin of a local politician. Sam Kean, Washington Post, 16 Sep. 2022 Justine is at a real disadvantage here, having to memorize 10 double-digit numbers while everyone else splits those up into two groups of five. Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, 15 Sep. 2022 Despite the disadvantage of foreign exchange rates, due to the strengthening of the U.S. dollar, BMI’s international revenue grew to $382 million, up $43 million, or 13%, across the last year. Thania Garcia, Variety, 13 Sep. 2022 The size disadvantage even greater, UConn needs to leave Michigan without more significant injury news. Joe Arruda, Hartford Courant, 11 Sep. 2022 Black mothers in particular, are at a deeper disadvantage, the report finds. Jasmine Browley, Essence, 8 Sep. 2022 Arlington Heights officials said passing such a measure would put the village at a major financial disadvantage to its neighbors. Caroline Kubzansky, Chicago Tribune, 7 Sep. 2022 State officials interpreted the findings to say the industry was too new to determine if those businesses historically faced a disadvantage. Erin Cox, Washington Post, 4 Sep. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Considering that Long Covid symptoms often take months to resolve, the ability to pay for continued treatment will disadvantage minorities preferentially. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 12 July 2022 Adherence to full-time in-person work could disadvantage cities like Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Singapore in the global battle for talent, now that so many white collar workers elsewhere are used to at least some flexibility. Nicholas Gordon And Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, 29 June 2022 Tile and Apple have disagreed in the past over default location sharing settings that disadvantage Tile, but at least both companies seem to agree on the potential of UWB in 2021. Ian Carlos Campbell, The Verge, 5 Jan. 2021 Such policies also disproportionately disadvantage families of color, experts say. Hartford Courant, 30 Aug. 2022 Some also said the bill would disadvantage rural students and those for whom English is a second language. Iris Samuels, Anchorage Daily News, 19 May 2022 Some skeptics argue that, in a universe of limited resources like vouchers, prioritizing the most challenging cases can disadvantage housing-insecure families, those in substandard housing and others who need help. New York Times, 14 June 2022 Courts around the country have been hearing challenges related to gerrymandering, in which one party creates district lines to disadvantage the other. Jeff Barker, Baltimore Sun, 1 Apr. 2022 Strokes gained off the tee measures the advantage (or disadvantage) a player has exclusively from his performance on par 4s and par 5s off the tee. Todd Kelly, The Arizona Republic, 1 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of disadvantage


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1550, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for disadvantage


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

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Time Traveler for disadvantage

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

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Last Updated

28 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Disadvantage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disadvantage. Accessed 30 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for disadvantage


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

Kids Definition of disadvantage

: something that makes someone or something worse or less likely to succeed than others

More from Merriam-Webster on disadvantage

Nglish: Translation of disadvantage for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of disadvantage for Arabic Speakers


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