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disadvantage

noun

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  • An unfavourable circumstance or condition that reduces the chances of success or effectiveness.

    ‘a major disadvantage is the limited nature of the data’
    mass noun ‘situations of serious social and economic disadvantage’
    • ‘In this way, they may be able to overcome the competitive disadvantage of price.’
    • ‘In sum, the main minorities in the U.S. represent significant socioeconomic disadvantage in comparison with the majority.’
    • ‘There are several potential disadvantages of this approach.’
    • ‘Of the two, she is the one who would suffer the greater disadvantage.’
    • ‘Athy is one of 20 towns aided by the programme which aims to help areas overcome their socioeconomic disadvantage.’
    • ‘However, many areas of the province face a connectivity disadvantage compared to more urban areas.’
    • ‘On the whole, the buyer, therefore, appears to face a decided disadvantage relative to the seller.’
    • ‘Better still, it helped him overcome a considerable spending disadvantage.’
    • ‘Natives in this group will have risen above any disadvantages associated with humble beginnings.’
    • ‘So in that sense they were at a disadvantage relative to the newcomers who were coming in.’
    • ‘Social, economic, and health data indicate that American Indians experience extreme disadvantages in American society.’
    • ‘Add it all up and Ford has a huge cost disadvantage compared with the Japanese.’
    • ‘The second is that because of that fact you have a distinct disadvantage.’
    • ‘A more serious potential disadvantage is that asset-based loan amounts will fall with a company's fortunes.’
    • ‘There are also, it should be said, disadvantages associated with investing in both too!’
    • ‘However I think that the benefits outweigh the potential disadvantages; for now, anyway.’
    • ‘Location conferred environmental advantages and disadvantages with respect to the shifting fish stocks.’
    • ‘Even facing all the socioeconomic disadvantages, farmworkers rarely used social services.’
    • ‘A disadvantage of this approach is that it allows the comparison of only nested models.’
    • ‘Any tiny advantage would be far outweighed by the serious disadvantages of a cumbersome hindrance in getting away from predators.’
    drawback, snag, downside, stumbling block, catch, pitfall, fly in the ointment
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verb

[with object]
  • Put in an unfavourable position in relation to someone or something else.

    ‘the pension scheme tends to disadvantage women’
    • ‘So, in that respect, the accused was not disadvantaged in terms of preparation time.’
    • ‘Neighbouring schools and boroughs complained that brighter children were being creamed off, seriously disadvantaging those schools which were still genuinely comprehensive.’
    • ‘It would also mean that the specialised advice which qualified animal health suppliers offer will be removed from the industry, disadvantaging both farmers and consumers.’
    • ‘Nor was there a lift, so disabled students were seriously disadvantaged.’
    • ‘In many respects Tanzania defies the claim that girls are disadvantaged in terms of education in sub-Saharan Africa.’
    • ‘Phil Barlow, a Labour town, district and county councillor for Witham, said: ‘For the most disadvantaged clients, it's disadvantaging them further.’’
    • ‘Setting a quota for campus universities below demand forces up the Year 12 scores required for entry, disadvantaging those without the home and school background conducive to high marks, principally lower-income people.’
    • ‘We should not be disadvantaging both parties.’
    • ‘But the BBC is warning it will pull the plug on those referring directly to the by-election, to avoid disadvantaging the Tories and Liberal Democrats under electoral laws.’
    • ‘Such a deliberate strategy which avoids a direct response to a national paid maternity leave scheme is, in the meantime disadvantaging thousands of working women in Australia who are either pregnant or planning to have a child.’
    • ‘The studies exhibited common themes of systemic processes of discrimination disadvantaging young girls, the rationalisation process within democratic culture, and ‘racial’ culture.’
    • ‘Pupils from lower socioeconomic groups are disadvantaged in many ways when applying for entry to medical education.’
    • ‘The lack of access to the educational psychological service is seriously disadvantaging some children.’
    • ‘There was also an idea that if we took away half the eggs of an infertile woman we would be disadvantaging her.’
    • ‘Their charter is to provide an alternative system resourced by private income (hence the name), for those who can afford the fees without disadvantaging those who can't.’
    • ‘By refusing to install the necessary hardware BT is quite deliberately disadvantaging rural areas.’
    • ‘Of course, it is the minor parties that are disadvantaged as a result.’
    • ‘In fact, absolutely no one will be financially disadvantaged as a result of Working for Families.’
    • ‘However Professor Peter Smith says: ‘We want to make sure we're not disadvantaging Maori and Pacific Island students by introducing it.’’
    • ‘All that matters is that having the issue on the ballot might induce a number of Democrats to turn out at the polls who otherwise would not have, thus disadvantaging Republican candidates.’
    treat unfavourably, put at a disadvantage, treat harshly, treat unfairly, put in an unfavourable position, handicap, inflict a handicap on, do a disservice to, be unfair to, wrong
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Phrases

  • at a disadvantage

    • In an unfavourable position relative to someone or something else.

      ‘stringent regulations have put British farmers at a disadvantage’
      • ‘Reed said the way the contract has been handled leaves his company out of pocket and at a disadvantage for submitting future bids.’
      • ‘This situation puts certain groups at a disadvantage in terms of education and civil service positions.’
      • ‘They can force an advancing enemy to take an approach or position in which they are at a disadvantage.’
      • ‘He cleverly chose a defensive position, putting the French force at a disadvantage.’
      • ‘So in that sense they were at a disadvantage relative to the newcomers who were coming in.’
  • to one's disadvantage

    • So as to cause harm to one's interests or standing.

      ‘his poor educational track record inevitably worked to his disadvantage’
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      • ‘By justifying the management discourse on productivity, employees keep in place the surveillance system that actually works to their disadvantage.’
      • ‘But sometimes, there is no escape and resistance can be… well… to your disadvantage.’
      • ‘This is exactly the sort of struggle that is most to their disadvantage, not least because of the four-and five-year election cycles to which the rhythms of their wars are typically tuned.’
      • ‘But the world has changed to their disadvantage.’
      • ‘If it has already been used to your disadvantage, you may be able to get a substantial sum in damages.’
      detriment, prejudice, disservice, harm, damage
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Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French desavantage, from des- (expressing reversal) + avantage ‘advantage’.

Pronunciation

disadvantage

/dɪsədˈvɑːntɪdʒ/