dis·​qual·​i·​fy | \ (ˌ)dis-ˈkwä-lə-ˌfī How to pronounce disqualify (audio) \
disqualified; disqualifying; disqualifies

Definition of disqualify

transitive verb

1 : to deprive of the required qualities, properties, or conditions : make unfit
2 : to deprive of a power, right, or privilege
3 : to make ineligible for a prize or for further competition because of violations of the rules

Examples of disqualify in a Sentence

His poor eyesight disqualified him from becoming a pilot.
Recent Examples on the Web The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Monday ruled against President Trump's attempt to disqualify 221,000 ballots in the state, ending Trump's last significant election lawsuit in the U.S. TheWeek, "Wisconsin Supreme Court strikes down Trump's last major election challenge," 14 Dec. 2020 Pierce however stayed his decision to disqualify Wilson until the Supreme Court could review the case and ordered local election officials not to certify the results of the race until the justices ruled. John Moritz, Arkansas Online, "Arkansas Supreme Court invalidates Democratic candidate, GOP declares victory," 24 Nov. 2020 Senate Democrats argued that Wright’s handling of Dow’s interactions with EPA regulators at a Dow Superfund site in Midland, Michigan, near the company’s corporate headquarters, should disqualify him from running the program. NBC News, "Trump's EPA claimed 'success' in Superfund cleanups — but climate change went unaddressed," 8 Oct. 2020 The president and his allies had long argued that Mr. Biden would disqualify himself with a poor performance in the debates, creating an opening for the president to reassemble his winning coalition. Nate Cohn, New York Times, "Poll Finds Voters in Two Crucial States Repelled by Trump’s Debate Behavior," 3 Oct. 2020 Some arts leaders say his track record around racial equity should disqualify him from these positions. Washington Post, "Activists call for resignation of arts CEO tied to Biden transition team," 15 Dec. 2020 At every stop, hostile right-wing detractors disqualify their efforts solely based on their age and deem them puppets of a progressive master plan to disarm the population. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Parkland documentary ‘Us Kids’ offers more than thoughts and prayers," 29 Oct. 2020 If the potential Winner is determined to be ineligible, Sponsor in its discretion may disqualify that Candidate and select an alternate Winner applying the criteria set forth above as soon as reasonably practicable after such disqualification. baltimoresun.com, "Harford Magazine’s Best of Harford Readers’ Choice Poll: Official Rules," 22 Oct. 2020 Barajas argued that state assembly bill 306, signed into law in 2018, does not disqualify a ballot solely because a person returning it did not provide on the identification envelope his or her name and relationship to the voter or a signature. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "Biden continues to outspend Trump on TV ads," 13 Oct. 2020

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

1701, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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The first known use of disqualify was in 1701

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Last Updated

17 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Disqualify.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disqualify. Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for disqualify


How to pronounce disqualify (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of disqualify

: to stop or prevent (someone) from doing, having, or being a part of something


dis·​qual·​i·​fy | \ dis-ˈkwä-lə-ˌfī How to pronounce disqualify (audio) \
disqualified; disqualifying

Kids Definition of disqualify

: to make or declare not fit to have, do, or take part in The judges disqualified the runner from the race.


transitive verb
dis·​qual·​i·​fy | \ dis-ˈkwä-lə-ˌfī How to pronounce disqualify (audio) \
disqualified; disqualifying

Legal Definition of disqualify

1 : to deprive of the required qualities, properties, or conditions a financial interest in the case that disqualified the judge
2 : to deprive of a right or privilege especially after a hearing misconduct that disqualified the employee from receiving unemployment benefits

More from Merriam-Webster on disqualify

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for disqualify

Nglish: Translation of disqualify for Spanish Speakers

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