late 14c., "suitable," from Old French competent "sufficient, appropriate, suitable," from Latin competentem (nominative competens), present participle of competere "coincide, agree" (see compete). Meaning "able, fit" is from 1640s. Legal sense is late 15c.
competent com·pe·tent (kŏm'pĭ-tənt)
Properly or sufficiently qualified; capable.
Capable of performing an allotted or required function.
Legally qualified or fit to perform an act.
Able to distinguish right from wrong and to manage one's affairs.