Hand"i*cap (?), n. [From hand in cap; -- perh. in reference to an old mode of setting a bargain by taking pieces of money from a cap.]

1.

An allowance of a certain amount of time or distance in starting, granted in a race to the competitor possessing inferior advantages; or an additional weight or other hindrance imposed upon the one possessing superior advantages, in order to equalize, as much as possible, the chances of success; as, the handicap was five seconds, or ten pounds, and the like.

2.

A race, for horses or men, or any contest of agility, strength, or skill, in which there is an allowance of time, distance, weight, or other advantage, to equalize the chances of the competitors.

3.

An old game at cards.

[Obs.]

Pepys.

 

© Webster 1913.


Hand"i*cap, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Handicapped (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Handicapping.]

To encumber with a handicap in any contest; hence, in general, to place at disadvantage; as, the candidate was heavily handicapped.

 

© Webster 1913.

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