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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Handicap \Hand"i*cap\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Handicapped (-k[a^]pt); p. pr. & vb. n. Handicapping.] To encumber with a handicap in any contest; hence, in general, to place at disadvantage; as, the candidate was heavily handicapped.


vb. (present participle of handicap English)


See handicap

  1. n. the condition of being unable to perform as a consequence of physical or mental unfitness; "reading disability"; "hearing impairment" [syn: disability, disablement, impairment]

  2. advantage given to a competitor to equalize chances of winning

  3. something immaterial that interferes with or delays action or progress [syn: hindrance, deterrent, impediment, balk, baulk, check]

  4. [also: handicapping, handicapped]

  1. v. injure permanently; "He was disabled in a car accident" [syn: disable, invalid, incapacitate]

  2. attempt to forecast the winner (especially in a horse race) and assign odds for or against a contestant

  3. put at a disadvantage; "The brace I have to wear is hindering my movements" [syn: hinder, hamper]

  4. [also: handicapping, handicapped]


Handicapping, in sport and games, is the practice of assigning advantage through scoring compensation or other advantage given to different contestants to equalize the chances of winning. The word also applies to the various methods by which the advantage is calculated. In principle, a more experienced player is disadvantaged in order to make it possible for a less experienced player to participate in the game or sport whilst maintaining fairness. Handicapping also refers to the various methods by which spectators can predict and quantify the results of a sporting match.

The term handicap derives from hand-in-cap, referring to a system wherein players placed bets or money into the cap of a neutral arbiter to reach an agreement as to the relative values of items sought to be traded. Handicapping is used in scoring many games and competitive sports, including go, chess, croquet, golf, bowling, polo, basketball, and track and field events. It also serves to foster wagering on horse racing events. Often races, contests or tournaments where this practice is competitively employed are known as Handicaps.

The term is also applied to the practice of predicting the result of a competition, such as for purposes of betting against the point spread. A favored team that wins by less than the point spread still wins the game, but bets on that team lose.

Usage examples of "handicapping".

There isn't such thing as right in handicapping unless the horses pass the post in the exact order that the computer weighted them, which they never do.

There was also a handicapping system so complicated that no human brain could master it.

It being a mercaptan, completely non-toxic in small dosess ass you know, we may ssimply releasse it without sslowing the game down by wearing masskss and handicapping the Hokass.

Surely you’d have to take that into account when you are handicapping those horses?

Painfully throbbing and bleeding once more, the dagger wound was handicapping him.

Either he could aid Valdemar against Karse, or by withholding his aid, help Karse instead, knowing he was handicapping Valdemar.