Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “handicap”

handicap

noun uk   /ˈhæn.dɪ.kæp/ us  

handicap noun (CONDITION)

[C or U] old-fashioned something that is wrong with your mind or body permanently. This word is now considered offensive by many people, who prefer the word disability: a physical handicap In cases of severe mental handicap, constant supervision is recommended.

handicap noun (DIFFICULTY)

[C] something that makes it difficult for you to do something: I found not having a car quite a handicap in the country.

handicap noun (COMPETITION)

[C] a disadvantage given to a person taking part in a game or competition in order to reduce their chances of winning, or a sports event in which such disadvantages are given: Handicaps give people with different abilities an equal chance of winning. My current golf handicap is nine.

handicap

verb [T] uk   /ˈhæn.dɪ.kæp/ (-pp-) us  
to make something more difficult to do: Rescue efforts have been handicapped by rough seas and hurricane-force winds.
(Definition of handicap from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of handicap?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Advantage and disadvantage, but you might be interested in these topics from the Chance and possibility topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

More meanings of “handicap”

Definitions of “handicap” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

debut

the occasion when someone performs or presents something to the public for the first time

Word of the Day

Come on – you can do it! Phrasal verbs with ‘come’.

by Liz Walter​,
November 19, 2014
As part of an occasional series on the tricky subject of phrasal verbs, this blog looks at ones formed with the verb ‘come’. If you are reading this blog, I’m sure you already know come from, as it is one of the first things you learn in class: I come from Scotland/Spain.

Read More 

silver splicer noun

November 17, 2014
informal a person who marries in later life Newly retired and now newlywed – rise of the ‘silver splicers’ Reaching pension age becomes a trigger to tie the knot as baby-boomers begin to redefine retirement

Read More