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disability

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Part or all of this page has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.

Noun

Singular
disability

Plural
disabilities

disability (disabilities)
  1. State of being disabled; deprivation or want of ability; absence of competent physical, intellectual, or moral power, means, fitness, and the like.
    Grossest faults, or disabilities to perform what was covenanted. -Milton.
    Chatham refused to see him, pleading his disability. -Bancroft.
  2. Want of legal qualification to do a thing; legal incapacity or incompetency.
    The disabilities of idiocy, infancy, and coverture. -Abbott.
  3. The combination of a physical or intellectual impairment of an individual and the social attitudes and environment that prevents a person from living a full, normal life or from performing his/her normal job.

Usage notes

Disability, Inability. Inability is an inherent want of power to perform the thing in question; disability arises from some deprivation or loss of the needed competency. One who becomes deranged is under a disability of holding his estate; and one who is made a judge, of deciding in his own case. A man may decline an office on account of his inability to discharge its duties; he may refuse to accept a trust or employment on account of some disability prevents him from entering into such engagements.

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