1. An unfavorable condition or position: students who are at a disadvantage because they don't own computers.
2. Something that places one in an unfavorable condition or position: A disadvantage to living there is that you'd have no access to public transportation.
3. Damage or loss, especially to reputation or finances; detriment: High gasoline prices have worked to the company's disadvantage.
tr.v. dis·ad·van·taged, dis·ad·van·tag·ing, dis·ad·van·tag·es
To put at a disadvantage; hinder or harm.
[Middle English disavauntage, from Old French desavantage : des-, dis- + avantage, advantage; see ADVANTAGE.]
Synonyms: disadvantage, detriment, drawback, handicap
These nouns denote a condition, circumstance, or characteristic unfavorable to success: Poor health is a disadvantage to athletes. The lack of a parking lot has been a detriment to the museum. Every job has its drawbacks. Illiteracy is a serious handicap in life.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.