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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 incompetency
Historical Examples
  • For all the grandeur of their names they rivalled one another in incompetency and timidity.

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

    The La Chance Mine Mystery Susan Carleton Jones
  • Davis' incompetency is more apparent as our danger increases.

    Robert Toombs Pleasant A. Stovall
  • General Toombs frequently referred to the incompetency of Mr. Davis.

    Robert Toombs Pleasant A. Stovall
  • Furthermore, I said I would not stand for the discharge of any man for incompetency.

    An Anarchist Woman Hutchins Hapgood
  • It would be a sign of weakness and incompetency which is utterly impossible.

    The Great Commission C. H. (Charles Henry) Mackintosh
  • This opposition criticised the government for negligence, extravagance and incompetency.

    Sweden Victor Nilsson
  • The incompetency of the ministry was indeed becoming obvious.

    A History of England, Period III. Rev. J. Franck Bright
  • She gave him a look which was almost pathetic in its incompetency.

  • It was not incompetency, for tried by the usual standards, he was not lacking as a general.

    The Real Jefferson Davis Landon Knight
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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