From King Dictionary of Contemporary English
Related topics: Illness & disability, Sport
handicaphand‧i‧cap1 /ˈhændikæp/ ●○○ noun [countable] 1 MIDISABLED old-fashioned if someone has a handicap, a part of their body or their mind has been permanently injured or damaged. Many people think that this word is offensive.2 DISADVANTAGEa situation that makes it difficult for someone to do what they want Not speaking the language is a real handicap.3 DSan advantage that is given to a weaker player in a game of golf He’s improved a lot, and his handicap has come down from 18 to 12.4 a race for horses in which the best horses carry extra weight so that all the horses have an equal chance of winning
Examples from the Corpus
handicapHis lack of experience on Wall Street may prove to be a handicap.His lack of height has not been a handicap to him. He is as good an athlete as anyone else in the school.the California Jockey Club HandicapDick is trying to get his handicap down to a 12.He was a scrawny, chicken-necked sack of bones, but in spite of his handicap he moved faster than the others.Babies of alcoholic mothers can be born with a severe degree of handicap.But there are still many types of handicap - such as autism - about which little is known.There may be physical and other handicaps such as impaired sight or poor memory.We help people with mental or physical handicaps to find work.Virginity at her age was a positive handicap, he had insisted.Not being able to drive is a real handicap if you live in the country.Miss Geller's handicap is barely noticeable after three years of physical therapy.More than eight peo-ple, and decisions got slow and squirrely; less than eight, accidents and ignorance became serious handicaps.The team had a good season despite the handicap of having 5 new players.Fears that radiotherapy would cause genetic mutations leading to handicaps in offspring appear to be groundless, according to studies among 3,000 survivors.How can a system of females choosing males that are good at surviving encumber those males with handicaps to survival?
handicaphandicap2 verb (handicapped, handicapping) [transitive] to make it difficult for someone to do something that they want or need to do The charity is handicapped by lack of funds.→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpus
handicapThey went through the story again, handicapped by not having it in front of them.Women were also handicapped by the constant cycle of pregnancy and childbirth to which they had to resign themselves.He used a computer to handicap horse races.
Origin handicap1 (1700-1800) handicap game in which people put their hand, holding money for a bet, into a hat ((1600-1700)), from hand in cap