- having handicaps assigned to contestants
- having a physical or mental disability; disabled
nounused with a pl. verb
Usage Note: Although handicapped is widely used in both law and everyday speech to refer to people having physical or mental disabilities, those described by the word tend to prefer the expressions disabled or people with disabilities. Handicapped may imply a helplessness that is not suggested by the more forthright disabled. It is also felt that some stigma may attach to the word handicapped because of its origin in the phrase hand in cap, actually derived from a game of chance but sometimes mistakenly believed to involve the image of a beggar. See Usage Note at disabled.
(comparative more handicapped, superlative most handicapped)