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The Definition of - handicap (verb)

    a race or other contest in which certain disadvantages or advantages of weight, distance, time, etc., are placed upon competitors to equalize their chances of winning.
    the disadvantage or advantage itself.
    any disadvantage that makes success more difficult:
    The main handicap of our business is lack of capital.
    Sometimes Offensive. a physical or mental disability making participation in certain of the usual activities of daily living more difficult.
    verb (used with object), handicapped, handicapping.
    to place at a disadvantage; disable or burden:
    He was handicapped by his injured ankle.
    to subject to a disadvantageous handicap, as a competitor of recognized superiority.
    to assign handicaps to (competitors).
    1. to attempt to predict the winner of (a contest, especially a horse race), as by comparing past performances of the contestants.
    2. to assign odds for or against (any particular contestant) to win a contest or series of contests:
      He handicapped the Yankees at 2-to-1 to take the series from the Cardinals.

Word Example of - handicap

    Example Sentences for handicap

    Besides this question of handicap, he was afraid with so astute a man as Coburn he would sooner or later give himself away.

    Those poor devils are starting out with too much of a handicap.

    A roar from the starter, a spattering rain of clods, a swirl of dust—and the Handicap was on.

    It is less a matter of weight after all than texture; still their fat was a handicap.

    She would need them, for she knew—none better—how great a handicap was hers.

    Maybe then he'll realize what a handicap I've been working under.

    The handicap is the weight which both the appealing heroine and hero of this story bear up under, and, carrying which, they win.

    Joe was too heavy to be a runner, and Jack was beginning to feel the handicap of his years.

    Mr. G. Edwards scored 404 in the handicap match on August 14.

    In which case the handicap of inequality would be very real.

Word Origin & History of - handicap

    Word Origin & History

    handicap c.1653, from hand in cap, a game whereby two bettors would engage a neutral umpire to determine the odds in an unequal contest. The bettors would put their hands holding forfeit money into a hat or cap. The umpire would announce the odds and the bettors would withdraw their hands -- hands full meaning that they accepted the odds and the bet was on, hands empty meaning they did not accept the bet and were willing to forfeit the money. If one forfeited, then the money went to the other. If both agreed on either forfeiting or going ahead with the wager, then the umpire kept the money as payment. ...The custom, though not the name, is attested from 14c. Reference to horse racing is 1754 (Handy-Cap Match), where the umpire decrees the superior horse should carry extra weight as a "handicap;" this led to sense of "encumbrance, disability" first recorded 1890. The verb sense of "equalize chances of competitors" is first recorded 1852, but is implied in the horse-race sense. Meaning "put at a disadvantage" is 1864. The main modern sense, "disability," is the last to develop; handicapped (adj.) is 1915.

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