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

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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
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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 The arrangement has the potential to handicap a CEO, said Joffe, of the University of Pennsylvania. Liz Kowalczyk, Sarah L. Ryley, Mark Arsenault, STAT, 9 Apr. 2021 The arrangement has the potential to handicap a CEO, said Joffe, of the University of Pennsylvania. Liz Kowalczyk, Sarah L. Ryley, Mark Arsenault, STAT, 9 Apr. 2021 It’s way too early to try to handicap the 2022 Democratic Senate primary. Craig Gilbert, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10 May 2021 Don’t ask DeMar DeRozan to handicap the NBA’s new play-in postseason format. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, 28 Apr. 2021 And Illumina has the clear ability and incentive to handicap the others. Adam Feuerstein, STAT, 3 Apr. 2021 The arrangement has the potential to handicap a CEO, said Joffe, of the University of Pennsylvania. Liz Kowalczyk, Sarah L. Ryley, Mark Arsenault, STAT, 9 Apr. 2021 The arrangement has the potential to handicap a CEO, said Joffe, of the University of Pennsylvania. BostonGlobe.com, 3 Apr. 2021 The Biden administration must decide this week whether to escalate a conflict with Republican state officials over a provision in the $1.9 trillion Democratic spending package that could handicap states' ability to cut taxes. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, 22 Mar. 2021

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for handicap

Time Traveler

The first known use of handicap was in 1751

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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 24 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for handicap

handicap

noun

English Language Learners Definition of handicap

 (Entry 1 of 2)

sometimes offensive : a physical or mental condition that may limit what a person can do : a physical or mental disability
: a problem, situation, or event that makes progress or success difficult
golf : a number that shows a golfer's level of skill and that is used to allow golfers of different abilities to compete with each other

handicap

verb

English Language Learners Definition of handicap (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make success or progress difficult for (someone)
US : to make a judgment about the likely winner of a race or contest

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

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handicap

noun
han·​di·​cap

Legal Definition of handicap

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

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