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English definition of “handicap”

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handicap

noun uk   /ˈhæn.dɪ.kæp/ us  

handicap noun (CONDITION)

[C or U] old-fashioned a condition in which part of your body or mind has been permanently damaged or does not work normally. 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 that not having a car was quite a handicap while on holiday.

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)
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