- 1. A physical, mental, or emotional condition that interferes with an individual's normal functioning. 2. Reduction in a person's capacity to fulfill a social role as a consequence of an impairment, inadequate training for the role, or other circumstances. SEE ALSO: disability. [fr. hand in cap, (game)]
* * *hand·i·cap 'han-di-.kap n1) a disadvantage that makes achievement unusually difficult2) sometimes offensive a physical disability
* * *n.1. partial or total inability to perform a social, occupational, or other activity that the affected person wants to do. It reflects the extent to which an individual is disadvantaged by some partial or total disability when compared with those in a peer group who have no such disability. A handicap is usually related to an identifiable structural impairment. It may also reflect functional impairment, which may be unsuspected by the individual and discovered by clinical observation or testing. The alternative terms abnormality, defect, or malformation (for impairment) and malfunction (for disability) are used by many authorities, which may sometimes cause confusion; in an attempt to resolve this, a working group of the World Health Organization has suggested using the generic term disablement, but this has gained only limited acceptance. See also International Classification of Diseases.
* * *hand·i·cap (hanґdĭ-kap) any physical or mental characteristic or defect, congenital or acquired, that prevents or restricts a person from participating in normal life or limits the capacity to work; see also disability and impairment.
Medical dictionary. 2011.