Definition of handicap verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

handicap

 verb
verb
BrE BrE//ˈhændikæp//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈhændikæp//
 
Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they handicap
BrE BrE//ˈhændikæp//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈhændikæp//
 
he / she / it handicaps
BrE BrE//ˈhændikæps//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈhændikæps//
 
past simple handicapped
BrE BrE//ˈhændikæpt//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈhændikæpt//
 
past participle handicapped
BrE BrE//ˈhændikæpt//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈhændikæpt//
 
-ing form handicapping
BrE BrE//ˈhændikæpɪŋ//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈhændikæpɪŋ//
 
 
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(handicapping, handicapped) [usually passive] handicap somebody/something to make something more difficult for somebody to do British exports have been handicapped by the strong pound. Smaller parties are seriously handicapped by the electoral system. The team was handicapped by the loss of their key striker early in the game. Word Origin mid 17th cent.: from the phrase hand in cap; originally a pastime in which one person claimed an article belonging to another and offered something in exchange, any difference in value being decided by an umpire. All three deposited forfeit money in a cap; the two opponents showed their agreement or disagreement with the valuation by bringing out their hands either full or empty. If both were the same, the umpire took the forfeit money; if not it went to the person who accepted the valuation. The term handicap race was applied (late 18th cent.) to a horse race in which an umpire decided the weight to be carried by each horse, the owners showing acceptance or dissent in a similar way: hence in the late 19th cent. handicap came to mean the extra weight given to the superior horse.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: handicap

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