Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

handicap - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun [countable] handicap pronunciation in American English /ˈhændiˌkæp/
Word Forms

Related words

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    old-fashioned a physical or mental injury or illness that is severe and permanent. This word is now considered offensive and it is more polite to say that someone has a disability
  2. 2
    a disadvantage that prevents you from doing something well

    They told me that my lack of experience was a handicap.

    handicap to:

    His wild past could be a handicap to his ambitions.

    handicap of:

    Thousands of people suffer the handicap of not being able to read or write properly.

  3. 3
    in golf, extra shots that a weaker player is allowed to take in order to make a competition fairer. As a player improves, the number of extra shots that they are allowed to take is reduced.
    Synonyms and related words


to fall over forwards so that your face hits the ground or another surface

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


the activity of exploring abandoned buildings and other manmade structures

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play