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Definition of handicap


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hand·i·cap  audio  (hnd-kp) KEY 

NOUN:
  1. Sports & Games
    1. A race or contest in which advantages or compensations are given different contestants to equalize the chances of winning.
    2. Such an advantage or penalty.
  2. A physical or mental disability. See Synonyms at disadvantage.
  3. A hindrance.
TRANSITIVE VERB:
hand·i·capped, hand·i·cap·ping, hand·i·caps
  1. Sports & Games To assign handicaps or a handicap to (a contestant).
  2. To cause to be at a disadvantage; impede.

ETYMOLOGY:
From obsolete hand in cap, a game in which forfeits were held in a cap


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