[ kom-pi-tuh ns ]
/ ˈkɒm pɪ təns /


Origin of competence

First recorded in 1585–95; compet(ent) + -ence Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for competence

British Dictionary definitions for competence

/ (ˈkɒmpɪtəns) /


the condition of being capable; ability
a sufficient income to live on
the state of being legally competent or qualified
embryol the ability of embryonic tissues to react to external conditions in a way that influences subsequent development
linguistics (in transformational grammar) the form of the human language faculty, independent of its psychological embodiment in actual human beingsCompare performance (def. 7), langue, parole (def. 5)
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

Medical definitions for competence

[ kŏmpĭ-təns ]


The quality of being competent or capable of performing an allotted function.
The quality or condition of being legally qualified to perform an act.
The mental ability to distinguish right from wrong and to manage one's own affairs.
The ability of a cell, especially a bacterial cell, to be genetically transformable.
The ability to respond immunologically to viruses or other antigenic agents.
Integrity, especially the normal tight closure of a cardiac valve.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for competence

[ kŏmpĭ-təns ]

The ability of bacteria to be undergo genetic transformation.
The ability to respond immunologically to an antigen, as in an immune cell responding to a virus.
The ability to function normally because of structural integrity, as in a heart valve.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.