- the quality of being competent; adequacy; possession of required skill, knowledge, qualification, or capacity: He hired her because of her competence as an accountant.
- an income sufficient to furnish the necessities and modest comforts of life.
- sufficiency; a sufficient quantity.
- Law. (of a witness, a party to a contract, etc.) legal capacity or qualification based on the meeting of certain minimum requirements of age, soundness of mind, citizenship, or the like.
- Embryology. the sum total of possible developmental responses of any group of blastemic cells under varied external conditions.
- Linguistics. the implicit, internalized knowledge of a language that a speaker possesses and that enables the speaker to produce and understand the language.Compare performance(def 8).
- Immunology. immunocompetence.
- Geology. the ability of a fluid medium, as a stream or the wind, to move and carry particulate matter, measured by the size or weight of the largest particle that can be transported.
Origin of competence
Related Words for competencecompetency, capacity, suitability, proficiency, savvy, expertise, qualification, fitness, know-how, capability, skill, appropriateness, moxie, might, adequacy
Examples from the Web for competence
Contemporary Examples of competence
If that state is to be further armed with new laws, its competence will be even more on the line.David Cameron's Plan to Fight ISIS Will Likely Involve Racial Profiling
September 2, 2014
When you look at Mona Lisa, what you see is a woman of confidence and competence and compassion.The Life of Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo, the (Most Likely) Real 'Mona Lisa'
August 9, 2014
But when did they become the litmus test of competence in office?100 Years of Right (And Left) Moves
March 31, 2014
Competence with pain, Coherent miseries, a bite and sup, We hug our little destiny again.Seamus Heaney, 1939-2013: Accessible, Yes, and Beautiful
August 30, 2013
You owe them competence, discipline, courage, judgment, etc.Marine First Lieutenant Nathan Krissoff’s Last Letters Home From Iraq
May 26, 2013
Historical Examples of competence
There is no mention in the old play of this "competence of life."The Man Shakespeare
They were thus, in an hour, reduced from competence to the extreme of want.King Philip
John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott
After a struggle the company boomed, and you were left with a competence for life.The Golden Woman
Is the vulgar security of competence to live on—is that enough for one like you?Lord Kilgobbin
Peter could gain no competence from the stony farm, no consent from the girl.Blazed Trail Stories
Stewart Edward White
- 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)
1590s, "rivalry" (based on compete); c.1600 "adequate supply;" 1630s, "sufficiency of means for living at ease," from French compétence, from Latin competentia "meeting together, agreement, symmetry," from competens, present participle of competere, especially in its earlier sense of "fall together, come together, be convenient or fitting" (see compete). Meaning "sufficiency to deal with what is at hand" is from 1790.
- 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 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.