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 ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.