- 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 for competent on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for competently
Had he been competently represented, the jury might well have failed to concur on a death sentence.How the U.S. Justice System Screws Prisoners with Disabilities
December 16, 2014
He knew the crash was coming, and when it came, he was able to talk about it competently—unlike John McCain.9 Juicy Bits from Ron Suskind’s Book
David A. Graham
September 20, 2011
The Republican Party was long known as the party that competently managed government.McCain Campaign Autopsy
Ana Marie Cox
November 7, 2008
He furnished the demand and the soil was there competently with the supply.Cobb's Bill-of-Fare
Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb
This was a situation, not for bluster and rage, but to be competently grappled with.
Its all here, every inch of it, she competently continued, and now at last I can do what I want!The Two Magics
And if you cannot do it competently without, use a well-composed form.A Christian Directory (Part 2 of 4)
I hope you will see him—he will speak of me competently and kindly.The Letters of Henry James (volume I)
- 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 competently
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.