—n. 1. a race or other contest in which certain disadvantages or advantages of weight, distance, time, etc., are placed upon competitors to equalize their chances of winning.
2. the disadvantage or advantage itself.
3. any disadvantage that makes success more difficult: The main handicap of our business is lack of capital. 4. a physical or mental disability making participation in certain of the usual activities of daily living more difficult.
—v.t. 1. to place at a disadvantage; disable or burden: He was handicapped by his injured ankle. 2. to subject to a disadvantageous handicap, as a competitor of recognized superiority.
3. to assign handicaps to (competitors).
4. Sports. a. to attempt to predict the winner of (a contest, esp. a horse race), as by comparing past performances of the contestants.
b. to assign odds for or against (any particular contestant) to win a contest or series of contests: He handicapped the Yankees at 2-to-1 to take the series from the Cardinals.