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or incompetency

[in-kom-pi-tuh ns or in-kom-pi-tuh n-see] /ɪnˈkɒm pɪ təns or ɪnˈkɒm pɪ tən si/
the quality or condition of being incompetent; lack of ability.
Law. the condition of lacking power to act with legal effectiveness.
Origin of incompetence
1655-65; variant (with -ence for -ency) of earlier incompetency. See incompetent, -cy Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for incompetence
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Was discharged for incompetence, and took up honest writing.

  • He dismissed her only this morning, on a trumped-up charge of incompetence.

    The Crevice

    William John Burns and Isabel Ostrander
  • Yet in too many of the cases the sentence of incompetence or cowardice was just.

    The Siege of Boston Allen French
  • You must become an advertiser or you must pay the penalty of incompetence.

    The Clock that Had no Hands Herbert Kaufman
  • One was the incompetence of the Irish people for local government.

    Home Rule Harold Spender
Word Origin and History for incompetence

1660s, "inadequacy;" 1716, "want of skill," from French incompétence (mid-16c.), from in- "not, opposite of, without" (see in- (1)) + compétence (see competence). Native formation incompetency (from incompetent + -cy) is attested from 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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incompetence in Medicine

incompetence in·com·pe·tence (ĭn-kŏm'pĭ-təns) or in·com·pe·ten·cy (-tən-sē)

  1. The quality of being incompetent or incapable of performing a function, as the failure of the cardiac valves to close properly.

  2. The condition of being not legally qualified, as to stand trial.

  3. The inability to distinguish right from wrong or to manage one's affairs.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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