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incompetent

[in-kom-pi-tuh nt] /ɪnˈkɒm pɪ tənt/
adjective
1.
not competent; lacking qualification or ability; incapable:
an incompetent candidate.
2.
characterized by or showing incompetence:
His incompetent acting ruined the play.
3.
Law.
  1. being unable or legally unqualified to perform specified acts or to be held legally responsible for such acts.
  2. inadmissible, as evidence.
noun
4.
an incompetent person; a mentally deficient person.
5.
Law. a person lacking power to act with legal effectiveness.
Origin of incompetent
1590-1600
1590-1600; < Late Latin incompetent- (stem of incompetēns) unsuitable. See in-3, competent
Related forms
incompetently, adverb
Synonyms
1. unqualified, inadequate, unfit. See incapable.
Antonyms
1. able, qualified.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for incompetent
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Without this general clause, it were easy to suppose cases, wherein a particular clause might be incompetent to its own purpose.

  • It is a refuge for the incompetent whose one skill is in grafting.

    Still Jim Honor Willsie Morrow
  • It was, however, just like the imitation of old works we so often see from incompetent hands at the present day.

  • Well, had he not always been incompetent, except in the use of his muscles?

    The Brown Mouse Herbert Quick
  • He concluded that the King was again swayed by his incompetent followers, and declined to see him.

    Talleyrand Joseph McCabe
British Dictionary definitions for incompetent

incompetent

/ɪnˈkɒmpɪtənt/
adjective
1.
not possessing the necessary ability, skill, etc to do or carry out a task; incapable
2.
marked by lack of ability, skill, etc
3.
(law) not legally qualified: an incompetent witness
4.
(of rock strata, folds, etc) yielding readily to pressure so as to undergo structural deformation
noun
5.
an incompetent person
Derived Forms
incompetence, incompetency, noun
incompetently, 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
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Word Origin and History for incompetent
adj.

1610s, "insufficient," from French incompétent, from Late Latin incompetentem (nominative incompetens) "insufficient," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + Latin competentem (see competent). Sense of "lacking qualification or ability" first recorded 1630s. The noun meaning "incompetent person" is from 1866. Related: Incompetently.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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incompetent in Medicine

incompetent in·com·pe·tent (ĭn-kŏm'pĭ-tənt)
adj.

  1. Inadequate for or unsuited to a particular purpose or application.

  2. Incapable of proper functioning.

  3. Not qualified in legal terms.

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