intellectual disability

noun

Definition of intellectual disability

: mild to severe impairment in intellectual ability equivalent to an IQ of 70 to 75 or below that is accompanied by significant limitations in social, practical, and conceptual skills (as in interpersonal communication, reasoning, or self-care) necessary for independent daily functioning and that has an onset before age 18

Note: The term intellectual disability is now preferred over mental retardation especially in medical, educational, and regulatory contexts. Mental retardation is still widely used in speech and writing, though it may sometimes be considered offensive.

… 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 That victory in 2016 made Clark the first female U.S. athlete with an intellectual disability to ever win a Paralympic medal—let alone a gold medal—according to Athletes Without Limits. Amy Marturana Winderl, SELF, 31 Aug. 2021 Another 10,000 or so of the state’s special-ed students have autism, while some 6,000 have an intellectual disability. Alia Wong, USA TODAY, 29 Aug. 2021 That amounted to a finding of intellectual disability. Marc Freeman, sun-sentinel.com, 17 June 2021 Her daughter has an intellectual disability and struggles with fine motor skills, requiring help to open packages and tie her shoes. Washington Post, 16 July 2021 King, who works at a Washington, D.C., grocery store, has cerebral palsy, sickle cell disease, a spatial relationship deficit and an intellectual disability. BostonGlobe.com, 10 July 2021 One law will allow defendants to present evidence of an intellectual disability or mental illness. Washington Post, 23 June 2021 No intellectual disability hearing in Payne's case has ever been held. Adrian Sainz, Star Tribune, 4 June 2021 The authors of the report claim that as recently as December 2020, Genomic Prediction advertised screening for intellectual disability, though no such claim appears on its website now. Claudia Lopez, STAT, 3 July 2021

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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Time Traveler for intellectual disability

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The first known use of intellectual disability was in 1809

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Dictionary Entries Near intellectual disability

intellectual

intellectual disability

intellectual freedom

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Statistics for intellectual disability

Last Updated

7 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Intellectual disability.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intellectual%20disability. Accessed 27 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for intellectual disability

intellectual disability

noun

Medical Definition of intellectual disability

: mild to severe impairment in intellectual ability equivalent to an IQ of 70 to 75 or below that is accompanied by significant limitations in social, practical, and conceptual skills (as in interpersonal communication, reasoning, or self-care) necessary for independent daily functioning and that has an onset before age 18

Note: The term intellectual disability is now preferred over mental retardation especially in medical, educational, and regulatory contexts. Mental retardation is still widely used in speech and writing, though it may sometimes be considered offensive.

… 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

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