Definition of learning disability in US English:

learning disability


  • A condition giving rise to difficulties in acquiring knowledge and skills to the level expected of those of the same age, especially when not associated with a physical handicap.

    • ‘A Health Action Plan is a personal plan about what a person with learning disabilities can do to be healthy.’


The phrase learning disability became prominent in the 1980s. It is broad in scope, covering general conditions such as Down syndrome as well as more specific cognitive or neurological conditions such as dyslexia and attention deficit disorder. In emphasizing the difficulty experienced rather than any perceived ‘deficiency,’ it is considered less discriminatory and more positive than other terms such as mentally handicapped, and is now the standard accepted term in official contexts. See also handicapped


learning disability

/ˈlərniNG ˈˌdisəˈbilədē//ˈlərnɪŋ ˈˌdɪsəˈbɪlədi/