disabled definition by American Heritage Dictionary
Inoperative: a disabled vehicle.
Impaired, as in physical functioning: a disabled veteran; disabled children.
(used with a pl. verb) Physically impaired people considered as a group: the physically disabled.
Usage Note: Disabled is the clear preference in contemporary American English in referring to people having either physical or mental impairments, with the impairments themselves preferably termed disabilities. Handicapped—a term derived from the world of sports gambling—is still in wide use but is sometimes taken to be offensive, while more recent coinages such as differently abled or handicapable have been generally perceived as condescending euphemisms and have gained little currency. • The often-repeated recommendation to put the person before the disability would favor persons with disabilities over disabled persons and person with paraplegia over paraplegic. Such expressions are said to focus on the individual rather than on the particular functional limitation. Respect for the preferences of this group calls for observing this rule, especially in formal contexts, but the “person-first” construction has not found wide acceptance with the general public, perhaps because it sounds somewhat unnatural or possibly because in English the last word in a phrase tends to have the greatest weight, thus undercutting the intended purpose. See Usage Note at handicapped.
(2) Turned off. Not active. "Disabled" does not mean broken or in disrepair. It typically refers to software that has numerous options, or features, that are selectable by the user. If the option is disabled, which is often indicated by the lack of a check in a check box, that function is no longer active.
With regard to hardware, the term may refer to a normal operation or one a bit more severe. For example, one might flip a switch or move a lever to disable a function, or pull the plug out of the wall socket, or in a more extreme case, open the device and pull out or cut wires. Contrast with "enabled," which means "turned on" and active.
To Do or Not to Do
Disabling and enabling options in software are typically done by clicking check boxes. The top function is not active, while the bottom one is.