- not competent; lacking qualification or ability; incapable: an incompetent candidate.
- characterized by or showing incompetence: His incompetent acting ruined the play.
- being unable or legally unqualified to perform specified acts or to be held legally responsible for such acts.
- inadmissible, as evidence.
- an incompetent person; a mentally deficient person.
- Law. a person lacking power to act with legal effectiveness.
Origin of incompetent
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for incompetently
This is specious quantification, whether or not differential equations have been incompetently applied.Barbara Fredrickson’s Bestselling ‘Positivity’ Is Trashed by a New Study
August 16, 2013
The new Italian state was tightly centralized, highly militarized, and incompetently expansionist.David Frum's Book Club: The Pursuit of Italy
March 17, 2012
But 44 is nothing like the incompetently messianic Carter—and has more in common with Tricky Dick.Obama: More Nixon Than Carter
September 25, 2010
Several companies dishonestly and incompetently conducted have found it impossible to longer prey upon a too confiding public.
Think of the numbers that might be removed from the responsibility of incompetently educating!The Clever Woman of the Family
Charlotte M. Yonge
I should wish even to enlarge them all: not that the Church of England is incompetently endowed.
- not possessing the necessary ability, skill, etc to do or carry out a task; incapable
- marked by lack of ability, skill, etc
- law not legally qualifiedan incompetent witness
- (of rock strata, folds, etc) yielding readily to pressure so as to undergo structural deformation
- an incompetent person
Word Origin and History for incompetently
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.
- Inadequate for or unsuited to a particular purpose or application.
- Incapable of proper functioning.
- Not qualified in legal terms.