Definition of incapacity in English:



  • 1Physical or mental inability to do something or to manage one's affairs.

    ‘they can be fired only for incapacity or misbehavior’
    • ‘This, as you might know, makes us turn away from our own incapacities - which are many, much more than we like to admit.’
    • ‘But Floyd is concerned that his parents' physical and mental incapacities may have made them susceptible to voting fraud.’
    • ‘They ask for no evidence of the age or even proof of the ‘abducted’ woman's alleged mental incapacity.’
    • ‘The Act has been amended to allow personnel who have been discharged as a result of a serious physical or mental incapacity to apply for an entitlement certificate after the two-year period.’
    • ‘If a farmer is aged 55 or over, or is unable to carry on farming as a result of physical or mental incapacity, he can let his farm under a lease for five or more years to a lessee who is not a relative of his.’
    • ‘Too often, researchers say, physical incapacity is prolonged by depression and fear, when gentle exercise and behavioural therapy can break a cycle of inactivity.’
    • ‘A significant number of people die on the spot or are condemned to reduced lifespans marred by physical incapacity.’
    • ‘This arises from an understanding of the notion of incapacity covered by Article 35 as being confined to physical or mental incapacity as distinct from unfitness to serve.’
    • ‘To say that such systems ‘could not be produced’ is to attribute an inability or incapacity to the Darwinian mechanism.’
    • ‘If a veterinarian - just as in the case of a doctor - is deemed to be highly incompetent or to have a mental or physical incapacity, he or she should be suspended forthwith.’
    • ‘It would appear that if there was an objective reason to suspect, it will not avail the accused that persons suffering from his mental or physical incapacities would not have been aware of it.’
    • ‘And in the process instilled in us some uncanny, extremely unique, weird and peculiar inability and incapacity to fathom how this place works.’
    • ‘In the event of absences or incapacities of the President and President-elect, the immediate past President shall serve and perform the duties of the President.’
    • ‘It may relate to the quality of information given, the impact of the regimen on daily life, the physical or mental incapacity of patients, or their social isolation.’
    • ‘The failure of European bureaucracy was certainly not due to incapacities of the personnel.’
    • ‘One in 30 people over the age of 65 is likely to suffer from cataracts and surveys show older people fear loss of vision above all other incapacities.’
    • ‘To be sure, our ancestors would have enhanced themselves and their progeny in ways that seemed universally desirable - eliminating fatal maladies, disfigurement, mental incapacities, and so forth.’
    • ‘Where the intended beneficiary suffers from a mental or physical incapacity, a trust can be used to hold funds for that individual, with the management of the funds resting with the trustees.’
    • ‘He accepted with grace the incapacities that came and went and came again.’
    • ‘Reasons for annulment include physical incapacity, physical violence, or pressure to change one's religious or political beliefs.’
    disability, incapability, inability, debility, impairment, indisposition, unfitness
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    1. 1.1Legal disqualification.
      ‘they are not subject to any legal incapacity’
      • ‘It therefore includes both cognitive and volitional deficiencies, and places the insanity verdict more squarely on the ground of incapacity.’
      • ‘A party entered into the Arbitration Agreement while under a legal incapacity.’
      • ‘In an attempt to solve the present case, and similar cases of successive causes of incapacity according to some legal principle, a number of arguments have been invoked.’
      • ‘She submits, however, that the Board did not err in law, because it made a specific finding of incapacity based on the statutory test.’
      • ‘It also granted them a continuing power as attorneys in the event of his incapacity.’
      disqualification, lack of entitlement, lack of legal right
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Early 17th century: from French incapacité or late Latin incapacitas, from in- (expressing negation) + capacitas (see capacity).