- having suitable or sufficient skill, knowledge, experience, etc., for some purpose; properly qualified: He is perfectly competent to manage the bank branch.
- adequate but not exceptional.
- Law. (of a witness, a party to a contract, etc.) having legal competence, as by meeting certain minimum requirements of age, soundness of mind, or the like.
- Geology. (of a bed or stratum) able to undergo folding without flowage or change in thickness.
Origin of competent
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for competent
What they found was that most people preferred to work with the lovable fool rather than the competent jerk.The Case Against In-Your-Face Atheism
January 4, 2015
But he had a personal fortune—he spent $1.5 million of his own money on the race—and a competent, if uninspired, message.How House Dems Lost Their Last Southern White Guy
November 9, 2014
“Either of the MiG types must be honored, especially in the hands of a competent pilot,” the retired pilot said.U.S. Fighter Jocks Pray The ‘ISIS Air Force’ Rumors Are True
October 21, 2014
The job of Speaker has to include setting a competent, moral tone for the Congress in particular, and the government in general.Former Lobbyist Jack Abramoff On Congressional Travel Disclosure
July 4, 2014
What competent judge in the world would tolerate such open displays of defiance?Iraqi Insurgents Circulate the Lie That They Killed the Judge in Saddam’s Trial
June 28, 2014
He reached out a square, competent hand, and put it over hers.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
It is so difficult to keep ‘heights that the soul is competent to gain.’De Profundis
Who is going to say whether an applicant is competent to pilot a balloon or airship?Flying Machines
W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell
The expectation of acquiring a competent fortune did not last long.The Life of Horatio Lord Nelson
It had died down and left him competent as ever to handle the scene.The Incomplete Amorist
- having sufficient skill, knowledge, etc; capable
- suitable or sufficient for the purposea competent answer
- law (of a witness) having legal capacity; qualified to testify, etc
- (postpositive foll by to) belonging as a right; appropriate
Word Origin and History for competent
late 14c., "suitable," from Old French competent "sufficient, appropriate, suitable," from Latin competentem (nominative competens), present participle of competere "coincide, agree" (see compete). Meaning "able, fit" is from 1640s. Legal sense is late 15c.
- Properly or sufficiently qualified; capable.
- Capable of performing an allotted or required function.
- Legally qualified or fit to perform an act.
- Able to distinguish right from wrong and to manage one's affairs.