disadvantage


disadvantage
disadvantage n Disadvantage, detriment, handicap, drawback mean something which interferes with the success or well-being of a person or thing.
Disadvantage often implies an act, circumstance, or condition which threatens to affect or does actually affect a person or thing unfavorably or injuriously
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the best-known area of disadvantage is the transitional zone, or deteriorated area, adjacent to the main business district of growing American cities— Carr

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It may therefore suggest a mere deprivation of advantage
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working at a disadvantage because the narrow space prevented complete freedom of movement

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I was brought here under the disadvantage of being unknown by sight to any of you— Burke

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or, more positively, an appreciable loss or injury
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his attempts to reach his enemy's face were greatly to the disadvantage of his own— Shaw

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spread rumors to a candidate's disadvantage

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Detriment usually implies a suffering of harm or a sustaining of damage or a cause of harm or damage but carries no direct indication of the extent of actual or probable harm or damage; it is therefore often used in the negative phrase "without detriment" assuring safety with regard either to the past or to the future
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the physiological machinery of the body is so adjusted that great variations of atmospheric temperature can be supported without detrimentHeiser

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rotation of farm crops . . . may very well be a benefit rather than a detrimentFurnas

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it is not unfashionable to pit one form . . . against another—holding up the naturalistic to the disadvantage of the epic ... the fantastic to the detriment of the naturalistic— Galsworthy

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Handicap retains a suggestion of its application to a competitive struggle (see ADVANTAGE) but greatly extends that application to include various struggles into which an ordinary individual may be pushed by inclination or circumstances; it also refers to a disadvantage under which the person so placed must live or work
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his lameness was a lifelong handicap

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his inability to master mathematics proved to be a serious handicap to him after his school years

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the handicap under which the student and lawyer labored at that time . . . the lack of a dictionary containing legal information— Rose

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truthfulness is ... a handicap in a hypocritical society, but the handicap is more than outweighed by the advantages of fearlessness— Russell

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Drawback applies especially to a disadvantage that serves to retard a person's or thing's progress or advance in any way
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one of the drawbacks of French agriculture is the scarcity of farm labor— Van Valkenburg & Huntington

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Often, however, it means no more than an objectionable feature of a person or thing that constitutes a disadvantage from some point of view usually implicit in the context
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there is always some alloying ingredient in the cup, some drawback upon the triumphs, of grown people— Bagehot

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all the drawbacks of town life— Jefferies

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Analogous words: *obstacle, impediment, bar: barrier (see BAR): hindrance, blocking (see corresponding verbs at HINDER)
Antonyms: advantage
Contrasted words: help, aid, assistance (see under HELP vb): service (see USE)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Disadvantage — Dis ad*van tage (?; 48, 61), n. [Cf. F. d[ e]savantage.] 1. Deprivation of advantage; unfavorable or prejudicial quality, condition, circumstance, or the like; that which hinders success, or causes loss or injury. [1913 Webster] I was brought… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • disadvantage — [dis΄əd vant′ij] n. [ME disavauntage < OFr desavantage: see DIS & ADVANTAGE] 1. an unfavorable situation or circumstance; drawback; handicap 2. loss or injury, as to reputation or credit; detriment vt. disadvantaged, disadvantaging to act to… …   English World dictionary

  • disadvantage — I noun adverse circumstance, adversity, block, blockade, blockage, burden, check, curb, damage, defect, deficiency, detainment, determent, deterrence, deterrent, detriment, difficulty, disability, disablement, discommodity, discouragement,… …   Law dictionary

  • disadvantage — [n2] hurt, loss damage, deprivation, detriment, disservice, harm, injury, prejudice; concepts 230,309,679 Ant. advantage, benefit, blessing, gain, profit disadvantage(s) [n1] difficulty, trouble adverse circumstance, bar, blocking, burden, defect …   New thesaurus

  • Disadvantage — Dis ad*van tage, v. t. [Cf. F. d[ e]savantager.] To injure the interest of; to be detrimental to. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • disadvantage — (n.) late 14c., disavauntage, from O.Fr. desavantage (13c.), from des (see DIS (Cf. dis )) + avantage (see ADVANTAGE (Cf. advantage)). The verb is attested from 1530s, from the noun …   Etymology dictionary

  • disadvantage — ► NOUN ▪ an unfavourable circumstance or condition. ► VERB 1) put in an unfavourable position. 2) (disadvantaged) in socially or economically deprived circumstances. DERIVATIVES disadvantageous adjective …   English terms dictionary

  • Disadvantage — Part of the series Policy Debate Organization Policy debate competitions Inter Collegiate policy debate Format Structure of policy debate · Resolution Constructive · Reb …   Wikipedia

  • disadvantage — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ big, considerable, decided (esp. AmE), distinct, grave, great, huge, major, obvious, real, serious …   Collocations dictionary

  • disadvantage — n. 1) to offset, outweigh a disadvantage 2) a decided disadvantage 3) a disadvantage for, to 4) a disadvantage to + inf. (it was a disadvantage not to have a car available = it was a disadvantage not having a car available) 5) at a disadvantage… …   Combinatory dictionary


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