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90s Slang You Should Know


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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for incompetency
Historical Examples
  • incompetency is the only ground upon which a civil superintendent and a list of civil assistants can be placed over them.

  • "incompetency, if you want the brutal truth," Dudley broke in not unkindly.

    The La Chance Mine Mystery Susan Carleton Jones
  • incompetency is a greater obstacle to perfection than one would think.

    Maxims and Reflections Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Davis' incompetency is more apparent as our danger increases.

    Robert Toombs Pleasant A. Stovall
  • To their sharpened minds it was easy to conjure pictures of all kinds of incompetency and blindness and, indeed, cowardice.

  • General Toombs frequently referred to the incompetency of Mr. Davis.

    Robert Toombs Pleasant A. Stovall
  • His astonished ministry already trembled before so much audacity, and in the council avowed their incompetency.

    History of the Girondists, Volume I Alphonse de Lamartine
  • Furthermore, I said I would not stand for the discharge of any man for incompetency.

    An Anarchist Woman Hutchins Hapgood
  • Mr. Glynde did not like this subtle feeling of incompetency.

    From One Generation to Another Henry Seton Merriman
  • It would be a sign of weakness and incompetency which is utterly impossible.

    The Great Commission C. H. (Charles Henry) Mackintosh
Word Origin and History for incompetency

1610s; see 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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incompetency 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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