incapacitate

verb
in·​ca·​pac·​i·​tate | \ˌin-kə-ˈpa-sə-ˌtāt \
incapacitated; incapacitating

Definition of incapacitate 

transitive verb

1 : to make legally incapable or ineligible

2 : to deprive of capacity or natural power : disable

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Other Words from incapacitate

incapacitation \ ˌin-​kə-​ˌpa-​sə-​ˈtā-​shən \ noun

Synonyms for incapacitate

Synonyms

cripple, disable, lame, maim, mutilate

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Examples of incapacitate in a Sentence

The class teaches you how to incapacitate an attacker. The stroke left her completely incapacitated. He was incapacitated by the pain. a computer system incapacitated by software problems
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Recent Examples on the Web

But D’Ortenzio and her colleagues say the concentrations in Goodsir’s hair and the bones of the Beechey Island men probably wouldn’t have been enough to incapacitate the crews. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Strands of hair shed light on doomed 19th-century Arctic expedition," 30 Sep. 2018 The new round would fire from pistols, shotguns, and grenade launchers and incapacitate them rather than kill them. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Marines Want Non-Lethal Taser Rounds to Stun Angry Crowds," 6 Sep. 2018 Under Palestinian law, the parliament speaker is supposed to take over if the president is incapacitated or dies. Washington Post, "Aide: Palestinian leader making swift recovery in hospital," 23 May 2018 The safety panel’s presentation said Chappell was likely incapacitated, given his history of seizures and penchant for not disclosing his health complications. Washington Post, "Federal board recommends seatbelts on all new school buses," 22 May 2018 Dear Abby: People in nursing homes or at home — ill, incapacitated or retired — still need social contacts. Abby, Houston Chronicle, "Father's habit of returning food proves hard to swallow," 6 Apr. 2018 Legal analysts looked to Abu Khattala’s sentencing and whether the government can effectively incapacitate him as likely to influence decisions whether to use civilian courts for similar prosecutions in the future. Spencer S. Hsu, Washington Post, "Libyan militia leader to be sentenced in 2012 Benghazi attacks that killed U.S. ambassador," 27 June 2018 Foutris noted that Rialmo went into the encounter without pepper spray or a Taser, a device that can incapacitate a person with an electric jolt. Dan Hinkel, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago cop Robert Rialmo takes stand at civil trial over his fatal shooting of 2," 19 June 2018 Jonathan Conricus said that last week aircraft struck a position belonging to Hamas’ naval forces in northern Gaza that incapacitated its first-of-a-kind tunnel to the sea. Ian Deitch, The Seattle Times, "Israel says it destroys land-to-sea Hamas tunnel in Gaza," 10 June 2018

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

1657, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for incapacitate

Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for incapacitate

The first known use of incapacitate was in 1657

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More Definitions for incapacitate

incapacitate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of incapacitate

: to make (someone or something) unable to work, move, or function in the usual way

incapacitate

transitive verb
in·​ca·​pac·​i·​tate | \ˌin-kə-ˈpa-sə-ˌtāt \
incapacitated; incapacitating

Legal Definition of incapacitate 

1 : to make legally incapable or ineligible mental illness alone will not incapacitate a person from making a valid contractLandmark Med. Ctr. v. Gauthier, 635 A.2d 1145 (1994)

2 : to deprive of capacity or natural power an injury that incapacitates the employee

Other Words from incapacitate

incapacitation \ -​ˌpa-​sə-​ˈtā-​shən \ noun

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