Definition of handicapped in US English:



offensive, dated
  • 1Having a condition that markedly restricts one's ability to function physically, mentally, or socially.

    ‘a special school for handicapped children’
    ‘a home for the handicapped’
    disabled, disadvantaged
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1North American attributive Relating to or specifically designed for people with a physical or mental disability.
      ‘organizers have created handicapped access in the form of wheelchair ramps’


Handicapped and handicap were the standard terms used to refer to a person's mental or physical disability for much of the 20th century. This began to change in the 1980s, and disabled and disability are now the more common and preferred terms, though handicapped is still frequently used in phrases such as handicapped-accessible and handicapped parking. See also learning disability