handicap Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “handicap” in the English Dictionary

"handicap" in British English

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handicapnoun

uk   us   /ˈhæn.dɪ.kæp/
  • handicap noun (CONDITION)

[C or U] old-fashioned a ​condition in which ​part of ​yourbody or ​mind has been ​permanentlydamaged or does not ​worknormally. This word is now ​consideredoffensive by many ​people, who ​prefer the word disability: a physical handicap In ​cases of ​severe mental handicap, ​constantsupervision is ​recommended.
  • handicap noun (COMPETITION)

[C] a ​disadvantage given to a ​person taking ​part in a ​game or ​competition in ​order to ​reducetheirchances of ​winning, or a ​sportsevent in which such ​disadvantages are given: Handicaps give ​people with different ​abilities an ​equalchance of ​winning. My ​currentgolf handicap is nine.

handicapverb [T]

uk   us   /ˈhæn.dɪ.kæp/ (-pp-)
(Definition of handicap from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"handicap" in American English

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handicapnoun [C]

 us   /ˈhæn·diˌkæp/
  • handicap noun [C] (PHYSICAL CONDITION)

a ​physical or ​mentalcondition that makes ​ordinaryactivities more ​difficult than they are for other ​people: His ​loss of ​hearing was a ​severe handicap.
  • handicap noun [C] (DIFFICULTY)

something that ​causesunusualdifficulties: Their ​lack of ​knowledge of ​computer programming was not much of a handicap for them.
  • handicap noun [C] (DISADVANTAGE)

(in a ​sportscompetition) a ​disadvantage given to a ​strongcompetitor in ​order to give ​weaker competitors a ​betterchance of ​winning: a ​golf handicap

handicapverb [T]

 /ˈhæn·diˌkæp/ (-pp-)
to make something ​unusuallydifficult: Rescue ​efforts have been handicapped by ​badweather.
(Definition of handicap from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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