- without skill or aptitude for a particular task or assignment; maladroit: He is inept at mechanical tasks. She is inept at dealing with people.
- generally awkward or clumsy; haplessly incompetent.
- inappropriate; unsuitable; out of place.
- absurd or foolish: an inept remark.
Origin of inept
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. unskillful, bungling. 4. stupid, pointless, inane.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for inept
Indeed, his inept attempts to frighten off Stewie only make the situation worse.Tim Winton's Beautiful, Baffling 'Eyrie'
August 18, 2014
The moment seems to be a familiar breed of Internet gaffe when a eager but inept social media staffer makes a blunder.RNC Chair Tweets Picture Of Maryland's Democratic Governor
May 31, 2014
How could members of my profession be so inept at talking to suffering people?How One Doctor Mastered the Art of Delivering Life-Changing Diagnoses
March 22, 2014
Rather than a world of war and dragons, we get “Medieval Land Fun-Time,” a theme park with inept employees.Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock Play ‘Chopsticks,’ ‘Game of Thrones’ Parody, and More Viral Videos
October 20, 2013
When it comes to inept financial planning, Montreal 1976 was the all-time record-breaker.Congrats Tokyo, Now Meet the Olympics Curse
September 7, 2013
He is untrained, inept, but he will fill the place and draw the pay.American Notes
And I've got another, too—'inept'—and that's what you are now, Patricia Kendall.Miss Pat at School
The visitors made a game of being awkward and inept, together.The Planet Strappers
Raymond Zinke Gallun
Those worthies must have had some motive, deeper than their avowed designs, for entrusting their defence to such 'inept hands.'
The tradition is inept as it stands, but it has a basis of truth.The New Gulliver and Other Stories
- awkward, clumsy, or incompetent
- not suitable, appropriate, or fitting; out of place
C17: from Latin ineptus, from in- 1 + aptus fitting, suitable
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
Word Origin and History for inept
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper