American English

Definition of disability noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

      

    disability

     noun
    noun
    NAmE//ˌdɪsəˈbɪlət̮i//
     
    (pl. disabilities)
     
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  1. 1[countable] a physical or mental condition that means you cannot use a part of your body completely or easily, or that you cannot learn easily a physical/mental disability people with severe learning disabilities synonyms at illness
  2. 2[uncountable] the state of not being able to use a part of your body completely or easily; the state of not being able to learn easily He qualifies for help on the grounds of disability. Since I'm self-employed I have to pay for my own disability insurance. Which Word?disabled / handicapped Disabled is the most generally accepted term to refer to people with a permanent illness or injury that makes it difficult for them to use part of their body completely or easily. Handicapped is slightly old-fashioned and many people now think it is offensive. People also now prefer to use the word disability rather than handicap. The expression people with disabilities is often preferred to the disabled or disabled people because it focuses more on the person and less on the disability. Disabled and disability can be used with other words to talk about a mental condition:mentally disabled learning disabilities If someone’s ability to hear, speak, or see has been damaged but not destroyed completely, they have impaired hearing/speech/sight (or vision). They can be described as visually/hearing impaired or partially sighted:The museum has special facilities for blind and partially sighted visitors.
  3. Thesaurusillnesscondition health problems/issues disabilityThese are all words for the state of someone's health, especially when they are physically or mentally ill.illness the state of being physically or mentally illcondition the state of someone's health or how fit they are, especially when they are ill:She can't travel in her condition. My condition requires me to watch what I eat.health problems/issues any problems that someone has with their physical or mental health:My parents have had a lot of health problems this year. Many of the patients at the clinic are dealing with serious mental health issues. The term health issues is slightly more formal than health problems.disability a physical or mental condition that means you cannot use a part of your body completely or easily, or that you cannot learn easily:His disability does not keep him from living a full and active life.Patterns (a) chronic illness/condition/health problems/health issues/disability to suffer from an illness/health problems/health issues to deal with/have health problems/health issues/a disabilityWord Familyable adjective (unable)ably adverbability noun (inability)disabled adjectivedisability nounIdioms
    on disability
     
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    used to refer to the pay that you receive if you are not able to work because of health problems After the accident, I was on disability for two weeks.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: disability

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