Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Word of the Year is...

incompatible

[in-kuh m-pat-uh-buh l] /ˌɪn kəmˈpæt ə bəl/
adjective
1.
not compatible; unable to exist together in harmony:
She asked for a divorce because they were utterly incompatible.
2.
contrary or opposed in character; discordant:
incompatible colors.
3.
that cannot coexist or be conjoined.
4.
Logic.
  1. (of two or more propositions) unable to be true simultaneously.
  2. (of two or more attributes of an object) unable to belong to the object simultaneously; inconsistent.
5.
(of positions, functions, ranks, etc.) unable to be held simultaneously by one person.
6.
Medicine/Medical. of or relating to biological substances that interfere with one another physiologically, as different types of blood in a transfusion.
7.
Pharmacology. of or relating to drugs that interfere with one another chemically or physiologically and therefore cannot be mixed or prescribed together.
noun
8.
Usually, incompatibles. incompatible persons or things.
9.
an incompatible drug or the like.
10.
incompatibles, Logic.
  1. two or more propositions that cannot be true simultaneously.
  2. two or more attributes that cannot simultaneously belong to the same object.
Origin of incompatible
1555-1565
1555-65; < Medieval Latin incompatibilis. See in-3, compatible
Related forms
incompatibility, incompatibleness, noun
incompatibly, adverb
Synonyms
1. unsuitable, unsuited. See inconsistent. 1, 2. inharmonious. 2. contradictory.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for incompatibility
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • All that can be done is to define both the one and the other as clearly as possible and prove their incompatibility.

  • "Separated for incompatibility of temper; that was all," said Mrs. Brand coolly.

    A True Friend Adeline Sergeant
  • From this follows with striking clearness the incompatibility of Christian marriage with the spirit of the age.

  • Generally, however, as this incompatibility is accepted, it is not unchallenged.

    Evolution, Old & New Samuel Butler
  • incompatibility may, however, consist of a meekeyed matron living just around the corner.

    The Cynic's Word Book Ambrose Bierce
  • Incompossibility, it will be seen, is only incompatibility let loose.

    The Devil's Dictionary Ambrose Bierce
  • The use of such microtapes is also limited by their incompatibility with typical computer-center equipment.

  • The word "incompatibility" had not come into wide-spread use.

    Gigolo Edna Ferber
British Dictionary definitions for incompatibility

incompatible

/ˌɪnkəmˈpætəbəl/
adjective
1.
incapable of living or existing together in peace or harmony; conflicting or antagonistic
2.
opposed in nature or quality; inconsistent
3.
(of an office, position, etc) only able to be held by one person at a time
4.
(med) (esp of two drugs or two types of blood) incapable of being combined or used together; antagonistic
5.
(logic) (of two propositions) unable to be both true at the same time
6.
(of plants)
  1. not capable of forming successful grafts
  2. incapable of fertilizing each other
7.
(maths) another word for inconsistent (sense 4)
noun
8.
(often pl) a person or thing that is incompatible with another
Derived Forms
incompatibility, incompatibleness, noun
incompatibly, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for incompatibility
n.

1610s; see incompatible + -ity.

incompatible

adj.

mid-15c., from Medieval Latin incompatibilis, from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + compatibilis (see compatible). Originally of benefices, "incapable of being held together;" sense of "mutually intolerant" is from 1590s. Related: Incompatibly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
incompatibility in Medicine

incompatible in·com·pat·i·ble (ĭn'kəm-pāt'ə-bəl)
adj.

  1. Incapable of associating or blending or of being associated or blended because of disharmony, incongruity, or antagonism.

  2. Producing an undesirable effect when used in combination with a particular substance, as a medicine in combination with alcohol.

  3. Not suitable for combination or administration because of immunological differences, as blood types.


in'com·pat·i·bil'i·ty (ĭn'kəm-pāt'ə-bĭl'ĭ-tē) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for incompatible

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for incompatibility

26
31
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for incompatibility