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 26-year-old Frenchman won his first Triple Crown race, the Kentucky Derby, in May when Country House was declared the victor after Maximum Security was disqualified for interference. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Del Mar racing preview: Horsemen weigh options in uncertain times," 16 July 2019 Pooling RPS Bucks or teaming together will get players disqualified from Street Play. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "How you can compete in Rock Paper Scissors Indy City Championship," 16 July 2019 The count did not include the affidavit or absentee ballots that were previously disqualified. John Leland, New York Times, "Wrangling Begins in Queens D.A. Recount, Recalling Florida Intrigue in 2000," 15 July 2019 Entries that are late, incomplete, unreadable, inaccurate, unintelligible or otherwise not in compliance with these Official Rules will be disqualified. Washington Post, "20th annual Travel photo contest: Official rules," 26 June 2019 Under the act, states removed voters for not voting, moving between voting districts, death, committing a disqualifying crime, or being judged mentally incapacitated. NBC News, "States removed 17 million voters from rolls in two years, government agency says," 27 June 2019 DiMasi is challenging that, arguing that the federal counts aren’t specifically included among the disqualifying convictions. Matt Stout, BostonGlobe.com, "After being rejected by the state, DiMasi is now a registered lobbyist at City Hall," 20 June 2019 More recently, in addition to disqualifying lawmakers, the government has banned a fringe pro-independence political party, jailed pro-democracy protest leaders, and expelled a veteran Financial Times journalist. Jiayang Fan, The New Yorker, "Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Backs Down, but the Protests Continue," 17 June 2019 The commission and the constitutional court have also helped by disqualifying opposition MPs and, in one case, banning an entire opposition party. The Economist, "The leader of the Thai junta tortures the rules to remain in power," 8 June 2019

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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Statistics for disqualify

Last Updated

20 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for disqualify

The first known use of disqualify was in 1701

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More Definitions for disqualify



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

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More from Merriam-Webster on disqualify

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with disqualify

Spanish Central: Translation of disqualify

Nglish: Translation of disqualify for Spanish Speakers

Comments on disqualify

What made you want to look up disqualify? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something desired as essential

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