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

transitive verb

: to deprive of the required qualities, properties, or conditions : make unfit
: to deprive of a power, right, or privilege
: 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 As professional leagues in many sports started popping up around the world in the 20th century, the Olympics drew a hard line, disqualifying any athletes who were tainted by accepting filthy lucre. Victor Mather, New York Times, 10 Apr. 2024 The point of these cardiac screenings is not to disqualify athletes. Amanda Sealy, CNN, 7 Apr. 2024 Genser challenged the assignment, asking that Shore be disqualified from the case. Alex Riggins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Apr. 2024 The sprawling racketeering case brought by Willis and her office has picked back up after an effort spearheaded by one of Trump's co-defendants to disqualify the district attorney from the prosecution derailed it for several weeks. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, 4 Apr. 2024 The Georgia case is still without a trial date as well; though Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis asked the court to start the trial in August, the judge hasn’t yet set a date, and the case got delayed as the court considered a motion to disqualify Willis. Alison Durkee, Forbes, 30 Mar. 2024 One license was stripped earlier this month because the owner had a felony offense that disqualified the owner from the program. Kacen Bayless, Kansas City Star, 27 Mar. 2024 But the internal hostility toward McDaniel is linked to her support of Trump’s denial of the 2020 voting results, disqualifying her as a credible source to many inside the news organization. Stephen Battaglio, Los Angeles Times, 26 Mar. 2024 And in Georgia, lawyers for Trump and seven of his co-defendants in the election interference case are seeking a review of the decision not to disqualify Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. Elizabeth Robinson, NBC News, 19 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'disqualify.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1701, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of disqualify was in 1701

Dictionary Entries Near disqualify

Cite this Entry

“Disqualify.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disqualify. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


dis·​qual·​i·​fy (ˈ)dis-ˈkwäl-ə-ˌfī How to pronounce disqualify (audio)
disqualified; disqualifying
: to make or declare unfit or not qualified

Legal Definition


transitive verb
dis·​qual·​i·​fy dis-ˈkwä-lə-ˌfī How to pronounce disqualify (audio)
disqualified; disqualifying
: to deprive of the required qualities, properties, or conditions
a financial interest in the case that disqualified the judge
: 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

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