Definition of disable in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /dɪsˈeɪb(ə)l/


[with object]
1(Of a disease, injury, or accident) limit (someone) in their movements, senses, or activities: it’s an injury that could disable somebody for life (as adjective disabling) a progressively disabling disease
More example sentences
  • I know how it feels to be disabled by this disease.
  • There are currently around 400,000 sufferers in the UK, many of whom are disabled by the disease and unable to work.
  • But how did he see it that clearly when his own daughter has been disabled by the disease?
incapacitate, impair, damage, put out of action, render/make powerless, weaken, enfeeble, debilitate, indispose, make unfit;
immobilize, hamstring, paralyse, prostrate
rare torpefy
1.1Put out of action: the raiders tried to disable the alarm system
More example sentences
  • At midnight on Halloween 1989, his agents picked 13 locks and disabled two alarm systems to plant a bug in the Gambino offices.
  • But in a break-in at the weekend thieves forced open a toilet window, disabled the alarm system and put plastic bags over the CCTV cameras.
  • They disabled an alarm system at a store by cutting through live wires at a Telecom junction box which put thousands of phones in the region out of action.
deactivate, defuse, disarm, render inoperative, make ineffective, put out of action, make harmless
1.2(Of an action or circumstance) prevent or discourage (someone) from doing something: their choice disables them from pursuing certain avenues
More example sentences
  • This rule seems to disable the demonstrations in the Meteors before they get under way.
  • Her own response illustrates the power of a dominant discourse to effectively disable her reading of a review recommending important work in basic writing scholarship.
  • This, in turn, causes Google Adwords to automatically disable the affected campaign keywords and prevent ads from being displayed.
disqualify, prevent, invalidate, declare incapable, rule out, preclude, debar, prohibit, disentitle
rare disenable



Pronunciation: /dɪsˈeɪb(ə)lm(ə)nt/
Example sentences
  • Lydia has not been part of their growing years, nor has she been able to talk to them about congenital gender disablement and answer their questions about the condition.
  • In those circumstances, therefore, I am not satisfied that the disablement, albeit being physical infirmity or illness, did not arise directly or indirectly from a condition which first came into existence after 28 July.
  • These disablements can result in loss of gene function at the transcription or translation level since the sequence no longer results in the production of a protein.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: dis|able

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.