If you are incapacitated, you can’t do what you normally do, what you’re being asked to do — or perhaps, much of anything. To incapacitate someone is to cause him or her to be unable to function normally, like a bad cold that incapacitates you.

The verb incapacitate is related to the word capacity. Capacity comes from the Latin word capacitas, meaning “that can contain,” or how much something — brain, bucket or otherwise — can hold. The prefix in- reverses the meaning and when the suffix -ate is added, incapacitate means someone has been made unable to “contain” much — like attention, effort, or energy.

Definitions of incapacitate
  1. verb
    make unable to perform a certain action
    synonyms: disable, disenable
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    render capable or able for some task
    show 12 types...
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    lay up
    disable or confine, as with an illness
    disable by drugging
    cut the wings off (of birds)
    confine, hold, restrain
    to close within bounds, limit or hold back from movement
    bind, tie down, tie up, truss
    secure with or as if with ropes
    fetter, shackle
    restrain with fetters
    restrain or bind with chains
    pinion, shackle
    bind the arms of
    impound, pound
    place or shut up in a pound
    pound, pound up
    shut up or confine in any enclosure or within any bounds or limits
    fold, pen up
    confine in a fold, like sheep
    confine or restrict to the ground
    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
  2. verb
    injure permanently
    synonyms: disable, handicap, invalid
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    disable by cutting the hock
    type of:
    injure, wound
    cause injuries or bodily harm to
Word Family

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