intellectual disability


Definition of intellectual disability

: significant impairment in intellectual ability accompanied by deficits in skills necessary for independent daily functioning : mental retardation … Rosa's Law, which changed references in federal law from "mental retardation" to "intellectual disability" and references to a mentally retarded individual to an individual with an intellectual disability.— Victor R. Martinez

Examples of intellectual disability in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The Supreme Court upheld the death penalty last year, rejecting his argument that the state’s system fails to protect defendants with intellectual disabilities from being executed. Paige Cornwell, The Seattle Times, "List of inmates whose sentences are changed from death row to life in prison," 12 Oct. 2018 In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics, the organization is hosting the July 17-20 competition at Toyota Park in Bridgeview featuring teams made up of players with and without intellectual disabilities. Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, "Naperville athletes to share international stage at Special Olympics soccer competition," 12 July 2018 Valdez, who has three other children, was diagnosed with low IQ and intellectual disability. Fox News, "'Monster' mother sentenced to 35 years in prison for beating son to death on 4th birthday," 7 June 2018 Those receiving notification include 17,000 people who live in nursing homes, thousands of people with intellectual disabilities who live in group homes and those who receive home health care assistance. Julia O'donoghue,, "Louisiana will put 37,000 Medicaid recipients on notice that they could lose benefits," 7 May 2018 The center provides care for people with chronic mental illness, intellectual disabilities or medical conditions, according to the Des Moines Register. Lisa Gutierrez, kansascity, "Iowa nursing assistants, 23 and 26, accused of having sex with mental health patients | The Kansas City Star," 9 Mar. 2018 Experts also believed that girls with autism were, on average, more seriously affected—with more severe symptoms, such as intellectual disability. Maia Szalavitz, Scientific American, "Autism—It's Different in Girls," 1 Mar. 2016 Their brains are still developing and lead can cause intellectual disability. Georeen Tanner, Fox News, "Lead may be making Newark’s water poisonous," 17 Aug. 2018 Last month, the 34-year-old's lawyers filed court papers begging for relief based on a groundbreaking 2017 Supreme Court decision that upended how Texas determines intellectual disability. Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle, "June execution stayed for East Texas man claiming intellectual disability," 5 June 2018

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

1809, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

25 Feb 2019

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The first known use of intellectual disability was in 1809

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intellectual disability


Medical Definition of intellectual disability

: significant impairment in cognitive functioning (as in learning, reasoning, or problem solving) accompanied by deficits in skills (such as communication and self-care) necessary for independent daily functioning : mental retardation … Rosa's Law, which changed references in federal law from “mental retardation” to “intellectual disability” and references to a mentally retarded individual to an individual with an intellectual disability.— Victor R. Martinez, The El Paso (Texas) Times, 23 Jan. 2012 With Medicaid waivers, some adults with retardation or, if you prefer, intellectual disabilities, can do what adults do, move out of their parents' homes—and into group homes.The Daily Press (Newport News, Virginia), 27 Jan. 2008

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grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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