Definition of disable in US English:



[with object]
  • 1(of a disease, injury, or accident) limit (someone) in their movements, senses, or activities.

    ‘it's an injury that could disable somebody for life’
    no object ‘anxiety can disrupt and disable’
    • ‘His family knew hardship after his father was disabled in an accident.’
    • ‘Later, she appeared in the company of children disabled by land-mine accidents.’
    • ‘They had attacked a truck damaging, but not totally disabling the driver.’
    • ‘A former employee at a Bradford catalogue company who was left permanently disabled by an accident at work has won a four-year battle for compensation.’
    • ‘In time, other targets will include peripheral vascular disease that disables people with diabetes, the prevention of stroke, and treatment of renal ischemia.’
    • ‘She was disabled in a training accident and lost both of her legs.’
    • ‘They are often minorities, almost always impoverished and disabled by their illness.’
    • ‘The injury disabled her right arm and prevented the 21-year-old from using either arm in training.’
    • ‘As senior partner he remained at Pontardawe for 23 years before being disabled by coronary disease.’
    • ‘It ploughed into Joanne's Ford Fiesta, another van and a Plumb Centre lorry - whose driver was left disabled with multiple injuries.’
    • ‘Bismarck's original objective was insurance for workers who were injured and disabled in industrial accidents.’
    • ‘More than three million people in the UK are disabled by a rheumatic disease.’
    • ‘She spent five months living in a unit with five physically and intellectually disabled people.’
    • ‘I know how it feels to be disabled by this disease.’
    • ‘But how did he see it that clearly when his own daughter has been disabled by the disease?’
    • ‘They have a much higher chance of dying in or being disabled by an accident, yet mothers let their children grow up and drive cars.’
    • ‘Evidently, it's only frivolous if somebody has been disabled for life.’
    • ‘Maury entered the US Navy in 1825, but an accident in 1839 partially disabled him, so he left active sea duty.’
    • ‘Some of the surviving victims of this syndrome have been disabled for life.’
    • ‘There are currently around 400,000 sufferers in the UK, many of whom are disabled by the disease and unable to work.’
    incapacitate, impair, damage, put out of action, make powerless, render powerless, weaken, enfeeble, debilitate, indispose, make unfit
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    1. 1.1 Put out of action.
      ‘the raiders tried to disable the alarm system’
      • ‘Home alarm devices can be disabled by a crafty intruder.’
      • ‘Police officers called to investigate the burglary at Martin's believe it was carried out by professionals, who cut telephone lines before entering the building and made attempts to disable the alarm system.’
      • ‘Ma said the rainfall drowned the station's cooling system, thus disabling it and paralyzing the pumping station.’
      • ‘They disabled an alarm system at a store by cutting through live wires at a Telecom junction box which put thousands of phones in the region out of action.’
      • ‘Second, the text of the statute authorizes the library to disable a filter.’
      • ‘The telephone line to her home was cut by the raiders and the burglar alarm was disabled.’
      • ‘Don't disable smoke alarms even temporarily - you may forget to replace the battery.’
      • ‘Nvidia Firewall 2.0 was disabled for this test.’
      • ‘Improved car security has meant thieves now go for car keys so they can disable immobilisers and alarms.’
      • ‘There is no patch, but a perfectly good workaround is simply to disable scripting.’
      • ‘After making sure the building's alarm system was disabled, they climbed through the hole and then into the space above the ceiling.’
      • ‘Can branch staff disable a filter without needing the system administrator's password?’
      • ‘They should all be disabled by default and enabled only as needed.’
      • ‘Users can operate the stage without rotation and disable the touch alarm if required.’
      • ‘At midnight on Halloween 1989, his agents picked 13 locks and disabled two alarm systems to plant a bug in the Gambino offices.’
      • ‘But in a break-in at the weekend thieves forced open a toilet window, disabled the alarm system and put plastic bags over the CCTV cameras.’
      • ‘Can library staff readily either unblock a specific site or disable the filter entirely?’
      • ‘I tap into the system, causing the doors to unlock and disabling the car alarm.’
      • ‘At the same time, you must overtake the security guards, disengage the alarm system, and disable the security cameras.’
      • ‘Auditing is disabled by default; enable only one or two options that are necessary.’
      deactivate, defuse, disarm, render inoperative, make ineffective, put out of action, make harmless
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