Definition of disadvantage in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌdisədˈvan(t)ij/


An unfavorable circumstance or condition that reduces the chances of success or effectiveness: a major disadvantage is the limited nature of the data the impact of poverty and disadvantage on children
More example sentences
  • In sum, the main minorities in the U.S. represent significant socioeconomic disadvantage in comparison with the majority.
  • In this way, they may be able to overcome the competitive disadvantage of price.
  • A more serious potential disadvantage is that asset-based loan amounts will fall with a company's fortunes.


[with object]
Place in an unfavorable position in relation to someone or something else: we are disadvantaging the next generation
More example sentences
  • Such a deliberate strategy which avoids a direct response to a national paid maternity leave scheme is, in the meantime disadvantaging thousands of working women in Australia who are either pregnant or planning to have a child.
  • Setting a quota for campus universities below demand forces up the Year 12 scores required for entry, disadvantaging those without the home and school background conducive to high marks, principally lower-income people.
  • The studies exhibited common themes of systemic processes of discrimination disadvantaging young girls, the rationalisation process within democratic culture, and ‘racial’ culture.



at a disadvantage

In an unfavorable position relative to someone or someone else: stringent regulations have put farmers at a disadvantage
More example sentences
  • They can force an advancing enemy to take an approach or position in which they are at a disadvantage.
  • So in that sense they were at a disadvantage relative to the newcomers who were coming in.
  • He cleverly chose a defensive position, putting the French force at a disadvantage.

to one's disadvantage

So as to cause harm to one’s interests or standing: his poor record inevitably worked to his disadvantage
More example sentences
  • But sometimes, there is no escape and resistance can be… well… to your disadvantage.
  • If it has already been used to your disadvantage, you may be able to get a substantial sum in damages.
  • This is exactly the sort of struggle that is most to their disadvantage, not least because of the four-and five-year election cycles to which the rhythms of their wars are typically tuned.


Late Middle English: from Old French desavantage, from des- (expressing reversal) + avantage 'advantage'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: dis·ad·van·tage

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