handicap

noun
hand·​i·​cap | \ ˈhan-di-ˌkap How to pronounce handicap (audio) , -dē- \

Definition of handicap

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a race or contest in which an artificial advantage is given or disadvantage imposed on a contestant to equalize chances of winning
b : an advantage given or disadvantage imposed usually in the form of points, strokes, weight to be carried, or distance from the target or goal
2a : a disadvantage that makes achievement unusually difficult
b sometimes offensive : a physical disability

handicap

verb
handicapped; handicapping

Definition of handicap (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to give a handicap to
b : to assess the relative winning chances of (contestants) or the likely winner of (a contest)
2 : to put at a disadvantage

Examples of handicap in a Sentence

Noun His shyness was a handicap in his job. She's been practicing a lot and her handicap has gone down from 18 to 12. Verb It's very hard to handicap the election at this point. the baseball player's small size did not handicap him in the least
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In 1936, famed Olympic runner Jesse Owens raced a horse in a 100-yard dash and won thanks in part to a 40-yard handicap). Emily Barone, Time, 19 July 2017 LNK classes have done everything from installing handicap doors at Redwood to creating a Healthy Newborn site for Transitions that serves mothers going through addiction recovery. Brent Cooper, Cincinnati.com, 17 July 2017 A vehicle was blocking the handicap ramp Tuesday in the first block of Taft Street. The Aegis, 14 July 2017 Participants must be 21 years old or older and have an official USGA handicap. Naperville Sun, 7 July 2017 When Britain leaves the EU, British financial services companies would lose the automatic right to operate in all the other 27 EU states, a big handicap. Washington Post, 23 June 2017 One man, who has a handicap, had to escape through a window, according to media reports. Robert A. Cronkleton, kansascity.com, 21 June 2017 With a USGA 1.3 handicap, Mercer is a latecomer to golf, having taken it up in 2005 at the end of his freshman high school year at Gary (Ind.) Roosevelt. Gregg Voss, chicagotribune.com, 29 June 2017 These are just a few examples of the many companies that have excelled by treating transparency not as a handicap, but as a competitive advantage. Sophie Bakalar, Fortune, 24 June 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Big daily reversals have become the norm recently as Wall Street struggles to handicap how aggressive the Fed will be. Damian J. Troise, BostonGlobe.com, 3 June 2022 But de-platforming users is not a long-term solution -- and in some cases may handicap law enforcement and intelligence analysts seeking to understand fringe group messaging. Byjohn Cohen, ABC News, 21 May 2022 That uncertainty has sent Wall Street through jagged up-and-down jolts as investors struggle to handicap how much economic damage omicron will ultimately do. Damian J. Troise And Stan Choe, Anchorage Daily News, 30 Nov. 2021 That uncertainty has sent Wall Street through jagged up-and-down jolts as investors struggle to handicap how much economic damage omicron will ultimately do. Damian J. Troise And Stan Choe, Anchorage Daily News, 30 Nov. 2021 From there, the fellas handicap the developing playoff picture and learn how Bryce started following the Pistons. Kirkland Crawford, Detroit Free Press, 5 Apr. 2022 In his new role, Davis will continue to handicap the Oscars and Emmys races as a definitive journalist covering awards season, offering weekly predictions of the top contenders, interviews and analysis. Variety Staff, Variety, 18 Mar. 2022 That uncertainty has sent Wall Street through jagged up-and-down jolts as investors struggle to handicap how much economic damage omicron will ultimately do. Damian J. Troise And Stan Choe, Anchorage Daily News, 30 Nov. 2021 The swim around the approximately 300-feet of border fencing that protrudes into the Pacific Ocean would be relatively easy if not for substantial rip currents caused by the border structure that can handicap even the strongest swimmers. David Hernandez, San Diego Union-Tribune, 31 Oct. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'handicap.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of handicap

Noun

1751, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1789, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for handicap

Noun

obsolete English handicap, a game in which forfeit money was held in a cap, from hand in cap

Learn More About handicap

Time Traveler for handicap

Time Traveler

The first known use of handicap was in 1751

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Dictionary Entries Near handicap

hand horse

handicap

handicapped

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Statistics for handicap

Cite this Entry

“Handicap.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/handicap. Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for handicap

handicap

noun
hand·​i·​cap | \ ˈhan-di-ˌkap How to pronounce handicap (audio) \

Kids Definition of handicap

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a disadvantage that makes progress or success difficult Shyness is a handicap for a salesman.
2 : a contest in which someone more skilled is given a disadvantage and someone less skilled is given an advantage
3 : the disadvantage or advantage given in a contest

handicap

verb
handicapped; handicapping

Kids Definition of handicap (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put at a disadvantage

handicap

noun
hand·​i·​cap | \ ˈhan-di-ˌkap How to pronounce handicap (audio) \

Medical Definition of handicap

1 : a disadvantage that makes achievement unusually difficult
2 sometimes offensive : a physical disability

handicap

noun
han·​di·​cap

Legal Definition of handicap

: a physical disability (as a bodily impairment or a devastating disease)

More from Merriam-Webster on handicap

Nglish: Translation of handicap for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of handicap for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about handicap

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