Definition of disable in English:



  • 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’
    ‘a progressively disabling disease’
    [no object] ‘anxiety can disrupt and disable’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The injury disabled her right arm and prevented the 21-year-old from using either arm in training.’
    • ‘Some of the surviving victims of this syndrome have been disabled for life.’
    • ‘They are often minorities, almost always impoverished and disabled by their illness.’
    • ‘Later, she appeared in the company of children disabled by land-mine accidents.’
    • ‘Bismarck's original objective was insurance for workers who were injured and disabled in industrial accidents.’
    • ‘As senior partner he remained at Pontardawe for 23 years before being disabled by coronary disease.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It ploughed into Joanne's Ford Fiesta, another van and a Plumb Centre lorry - whose driver was left disabled with multiple injuries.’
    • ‘She spent five months living in a unit with five physically and intellectually disabled people.’
    • ‘There are currently around 400,000 sufferers in the UK, many of whom are disabled by the disease and unable to work.’
    • ‘His family knew hardship after his father was disabled in an accident.’
    • ‘I know how it feels to be disabled by this disease.’
    • ‘She was disabled in a training accident and lost both of her legs.’
    • ‘More than three million people in the UK are disabled by a rheumatic disease.’
    • ‘In time, other targets will include peripheral vascular disease that disables people with diabetes, the prevention of stroke, and treatment of renal ischemia.’
    incapacitate, impair, damage, put out of action, make powerless, render powerless, weaken, enfeeble, debilitate, indispose, make unfit
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    1. 1.1Put out of action.
      ‘the raiders tried to disable the alarm system’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘At midnight on Halloween 1989, his agents picked 13 locks and disabled two alarm systems to plant a bug in the Gambino offices.’
      • ‘Ma said the rainfall drowned the station's cooling system, thus disabling it and paralyzing the pumping station.’
      • ‘I tap into the system, causing the doors to unlock and disabling the car alarm.’
      • ‘Second, the text of the statute authorizes the library to disable a filter.’
      • ‘At the same time, you must overtake the security guards, disengage the alarm system, and disable the security cameras.’
      • ‘The telephone line to her home was cut by the raiders and the burglar alarm was disabled.’
      • ‘There is no patch, but a perfectly good workaround is simply to disable scripting.’
      • ‘Don't disable smoke alarms even temporarily - you may forget to replace the battery.’
      • ‘Auditing is disabled by default; enable only one or two options that are necessary.’
      • ‘Users can operate the stage without rotation and disable the touch alarm if required.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Nvidia Firewall 2.0 was disabled for this test.’
      • ‘Can library staff readily either unblock a specific site or disable the filter entirely?’
      • ‘They should all be disabled by default and enabled only as needed.’
      • ‘Home alarm devices can be disabled by a crafty intruder.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘Improved car security has meant thieves now go for car keys so they can disable immobilisers and alarms.’
      • ‘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.’
      deactivate, defuse, disarm, render inoperative, make ineffective, put out of action, make harmless
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