intellectual disability

noun

: 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 in medical, educational, and regulatory contexts, as well as in general use. The term mental retardation is increasingly considered offensive, though it was the dominant term into the second decade of the current century.

Examples of intellectual disability in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web While most workers have intellectual disabilities that can include cerebral palsy or Down syndrome, federal regulations list blindness, alcoholism and drug addiction as qualifying disabilities for lower pay. Tribune News Service, The Mercury News, 4 Apr. 2024 Pye’s lawyers cited their client’s intellectual disability as a reason the state should reconsider execution. Andrew Jeong, Washington Post, 21 Mar. 2024 According to the report, the detainees included individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, intellectual disabilities and cancer. Patrick Kingsley, New York Times, 3 Mar. 2024 Executions in the state have been on hold since 2010, when a Franklin County Circuit Court judge ruled death penalty regulations lacked safeguards to prevent the executions of people suffering from mental illness and intellectual disability, according to Louisville Public Media. Quinlan Bentley, The Enquirer, 27 Feb. 2024 Special Olympics Arizona For almost five decades, Special Olympics Arizona has provided year-round sports training and athletic competitions for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Alexis Waiss, The Arizona Republic, 31 Jan. 2024 Brown, who was known to frequently stop by the Panera Bread after his shifts at a supermarket, was also diagnosed with an unspecified chromosomal disorder, developmental delay, and intellectual disability, said the lawsuit. USA TODAY, 19 Jan. 2024 One in 1,000 children with measles will develop brain swelling that can leave a child deaf or with an intellectual disability; 1 to 3 children in 1,000 will die, according to the CDC. Jenny Gold, Los Angeles Times, 11 Mar. 2024 This funding enables 2,000 individuals with and without intellectual disabilities to engage in practices and athletic competitions throughout Maricopa County, the nonprofit said. Alexis Waiss, The Arizona Republic, 31 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'intellectual disability.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1809, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of intellectual disability was in 1809

Dictionary Entries Near intellectual disability

Cite this Entry

“Intellectual disability.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intellectual%20disability. Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

intellectual disability

noun
: mild to severe impairment in intellectual ability accompanied by significant limitations in skills (as in communication, reasoning, or self-care) necessary for independent daily functioning

Medical Definition

intellectual disability

noun
: 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 in medical, educational, and regulatory contexts, as well as in general use. The term mental retardation is increasingly considered offensive, though it was the dominant term into the second decade of the current century.

… 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
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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