incapacitate

verb
in·​ca·​pac·​i·​tate | \ ˌin-kə-ˈpa-sə-ˌtāt How to pronounce incapacitate (audio) \
incapacitated; incapacitating

Definition of incapacitate

transitive verb

1 : to deprive of capacity or natural power : disable
2 : to make legally incapable or ineligible

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Other Words from incapacitate

incapacitation \ ˌin-​kə-​ˌpa-​sə-​ˈtā-​shən How to pronounce incapacitation (audio) \ noun

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 The Americans played a key supporting role in stopping the German spring offensive, which was finally brought to an end by an outbreak of the Spanish flu among the German army, incapacitating nearly half a million men in June 1918. Dan Mclaughlin, National Review, "China in 2020 Is Not Kansas in 1918," 4 May 2020 Dallas police spokeswoman Melinda Gutierrez said that while Dickey was incapacitated, personal belongings were stolen from him, including credit cards. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "2 men accused of fatally drugging Alabama banker with synthetic marijuana in Texas," 20 Apr. 2020 The absence of a formal succession plan had raised questions about who would take charge if the prime minister died or was incapacitated for an extended period. Mark Landler, BostonGlobe.com, "Boris Johnson leaves UK hospital after coronavirus treatment," 12 Apr. 2020 But the absence of a formal succession plan in the country had raised questions about who would take charge if the prime minister were incapacitated for an extended period. Mark Landler, New York Times, "Boris Johnson Leaves U.K. Hospital After Coronavirus Treatment," 11 Apr. 2020 Here’s what will happen to the U.K. now that Boris Johnson is incapacitated. Billy Perrigo, Time, "Boris Johnson Is Unable to Govern While He Battles COVID-19. Here's How the U.K. Is Running Without Him," 7 Apr. 2020 Less clear is what will happen if Johnson is incapacitated for more than a few days. Luke Mcgee, CNN, "Who is Dominic Raab? The Brexiteer ex-lawyer deputizing for Boris Johnson," 6 Apr. 2020 If Johnson is incapacitated by the virus, Raab will take over running of the country. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, "Boris Johnson May Be a Victim of His Slow Response to the Coronavirus," 27 Mar. 2020 That requires a patient to be sedated, effectively incapacitated. NBC News, "Coronavirus patient receives standing ovation from hospital after 15-day battle," 7 Apr. 2020

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 2

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Time Traveler for incapacitate

Time Traveler

The first known use of incapacitate was in 1657

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Statistics for incapacitate

Last Updated

14 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Incapacitate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/incapacitate. Accessed 26 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for incapacitate

incapacitate

verb
How to pronounce incapacitate (audio)

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 How to pronounce incapacitate (audio) \
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 How to pronounce incapacitation (audio) \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on incapacitate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for incapacitate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with incapacitate

Spanish Central: Translation of incapacitate

Nglish: Translation of incapacitate for Spanish Speakers

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