Definition of disabled in English:

disabled

adjective

  • 1(of a person) having a physical or mental condition that limits their movements, senses, or activities:

    ‘facilities for disabled people’
    • ‘It provides technology to make facilities, programs and activities usable for disabled workers at no cost to the requesting organization.’
    • ‘Of the rest, about half were clearly recognizable as developmentally disabled adults.’
    • ‘What would you say to a parent that's contemplating having their intellectually disabled child sterilised?’
    • ‘Yoga has proven to aid development of self esteem in severely disabled children.’
    • ‘He suffered serious brain injuries which have left him mentally disabled.’
    • ‘The film takes a light-hearted look at the problems faced by disabled people in poorly-designed buildings.’
    • ‘Another 21 percent were serious, and left the soldier permanently disabled.’
    • ‘The researchers are adamant though, the development is aimed not at couch potatoes but so that bedridden or disabled people to get some of the benefits of exercise.’
    • ‘Tony is one of approximately 150,000 people in Hampshire who is a carer - somebody who cares for a sick or disabled partner or relative.’
    • ‘I look up, and it's the developmentally disabled guy from my apartment building.’
    • ‘A couple Mondays ago, a minibus pulled up and deposited five mentally disabled adults at our door.’
    • ‘Science can be one area of schoolwork that gives disabled students a sense of achievement and self-esteem.’
    • ‘They showed no real differences between the physically disabled and able-bodied athletes.’
    • ‘Tory Euro-MPs say over-prescriptive details will make it more expensive for manufacturers to comply with the worthy goal of improving bus conditions for disabled people.’
    • ‘A restaurant cannot limit seating of disabled patrons to one area, for instance.’
    • ‘But the Government says it has brought forward a raft of equality legislation and has pumped record funds into the improving conditions for disabled people.’
    • ‘They began the project, based in Charnley Street, Mill Hill, after seeing first-hand the lack of activity provision for disabled children.’
    • ‘Yet today, it is used only as a home for some intellectually disabled residents.’
    • ‘Carers' Week supports the UK's six million carers people who look after a sick or disabled friend, partner or relative.’
    • ‘And that causes a stroke that can kill or leave someone permanently disabled.’
    having a disability, wheelchair-using, paralysed
    having a mental disability, learning-disabled, having learning difficulties, having special needs
    handicapped, physically handicapped, physically impaired, crippled, lame
    physically challenged, differently abled
    paraplegic, quadriplegic, tetraplegic, monoplegic, hemiplegic, paretic, paraparetic
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Relating to or specifically designed for people with a physical or mental disability:
      ‘disabled access is available at all venues’
      • ‘The club would need wheelchair access, disabled toilet facilities and a fire hydrant to be installed, requirements officials were not aware of when they took out the insurance.’
      • ‘The removal van will cost £23,000 and the disabled toilets about £4,000.’
      • ‘At the same time we have created more disabled bays and more parking bays generally.’
      • ‘The superloo included gents, ladies and disabled facilities - with access by radar key - a baby-changing room, new paving and seating and a host of other things.’
      • ‘They also claim the station, which consists of a turning circle, raised pavements for disabled access and bus shelters, isn't needed because the village has coped without it during the work.’
      • ‘Should the disabled parking bay have been used for the mayor's limousine?’
      • ‘The lack of investment in studios, particularly in Sligo town where something as basic as disabled access has been long fingered, tells its own story.’
      • ‘However, when the car park was repainted they were replaced with more disabled bays.’
      • ‘The proposals to demolish the old building and replace it with a futuristic station with ticket office, waiting area, disabled access and CCTV were unveiled in 2003.’
      • ‘The club recently completed three years of renovations, spending more than $300,000 to install disabled access and upgrade facilities.’
      • ‘Further information about disabled access in York is available through the Guide For Disabled Access.’
      • ‘The building has also been specially designed for disabled access.’
      • ‘A hide will be created with disabled access allowing people to view the wildlife.’
      • ‘The new law will require all providers of goods and services to make reasonable physical adjustments to enable disabled access.’
      • ‘The president is considering new ways of generating feedback on courses and disabled access.’
      • ‘There is no disabled access and space does not permit one to be provided.’
      • ‘A building in Cambridge Business Park is being refitted to exceed requirements on disabled access, energy-saving and using materials from sustainable sources.’
      • ‘It has rehearsal and storage space, a green room for artists, a dressing room, reception area, an administration area, and disabled access including lifts.’
      • ‘South Lismore Soccer Club will be hosting a soccer marathon on Saturday with the goal of raising money to install a disabled access to the upper story spectator area of their clubhouse.’
      • ‘When the Steam Museum was being built I, with others, spent many hours working at Empire House on the design of disabled and walking wounded lavatories.’

Usage

The word disabled came to be used as the standard term in referring to people with physical or mental disabilities in the second half of the 20th century, and it remains the most generally accepted term in both British and US English today. It superseded outmoded, now often offensive, terms such as crippled, defective, and handicapped and has not been overtaken itself by newer coinages such as differently abled or physically challenged. Although the usage is very widespread, some people regard the use of the adjective as a plural noun (as in the needs of the disabled) as dehumanizing because it tends to treat people with disabilities as an undifferentiated group, defined merely by their capabilities. To avoid offence, a more acceptable term would be people with disabilities.

Pronunciation

disabled

/dɪsˈeɪbld/