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

v make unable to perform a certain action

disable, disenable
render capable or able for some task
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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

v injure permanently

disable, handicap, invalid
disable by cutting the hock
Type of:
injure, wound
cause injuries or bodily harm to

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