- having suitable or sufficient skill, knowledge, experience, etc., for some purpose; properly qualified: He is perfectly competent to manage the bank branch.
- adequate but not exceptional.
- Law. (of a witness, a party to a contract, etc.) having legal competence, as by meeting certain minimum requirements of age, soundness of mind, or the like.
- Geology. (of a bed or stratum) able to undergo folding without flowage or change in thickness.
Origin of competent
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- having sufficient skill, knowledge, etc; capable
- suitable or sufficient for the purposea competent answer
- law (of a witness) having legal capacity; qualified to testify, etc
- (postpositive foll by to) belonging as a right; appropriate
Word Origin and History for uncompetent
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.
- 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.