It seems the noun derived from the verb "disable" is disablement.

"Disablement time" or "disablement duration" sounds a little awkward to me though. "Disable time" sounds better, and also gives much more Google hits. But would you say that is correct or acceptable? How about "disabling time"?

(Or is my question misworded; are you even supposed to use a noun in such context?)

Background: I'm trying to decide the name of a setting that specifies the time for which a certain software functionality is disabled.

  • Maybe disability time ...
    – GEdgar
    Dec 29, 2011 at 13:37
  • Duration, or time until this state starts, or time at which this state starts? Dec 29, 2011 at 16:27

2 Answers 2


Both Merriam-Webster and Wiktionary only mention disable as a verb.

After seeing the background you provided, I would go with idle time (898,000 Google hits vs 36,000 hits for disable time). The Business Dictionary suggests waiting time as an alternative.

Edit: as pointed out in the comments by Kosmonaut and Bruno, yet another alternative would be disabled time or perhaps time disabled (with a participle rather than the infinitive form).

  • 2
    These are good. Also, you could go with "disabled time" or even "time disabled".
    – Kosmonaut
    Oct 25, 2010 at 14:49
  • Thanks. "Idle time" doesn't fit my particular case though. (But it got me thinking about alternative ways to put it; I might go with "bypass time", as it's about disabling a kind of blocking feature.)
    – Jonik
    Oct 25, 2010 at 15:17
  • 2
    "Idle time" may sound like the total time that the functionality was not being used, but not necessarily disabled. I think "disabled time" is more clear.
    – b.roth
    Oct 25, 2010 at 15:19

I agree, it does sound better; but, naturally, disable is used as a verb. Hence "disable time" suggests that a subject is trying to disable time (whatever that means).

According to http://www.thefreedictionary.com/disable disable can NOT be used as a noun in formal English.

  • 2
    The dictionary also DOES list disablement, and everyone seems to agree it is awkward and ill-suited for this context. So, I am not sure that formal English rules are what we should focus on.
    – Kosmonaut
    Oct 25, 2010 at 14:46

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