• synonyms


or in·com·pe·ten·cy

[in-kom-pi-tuh ns or in-kom-pi-tuh n-see]
See more synonyms for incompetence on Thesaurus.com
  1. the quality or condition of being incompetent; lack of ability.
  2. Law. the condition of lacking power to act with legal effectiveness.
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Origin of incompetence

1655–65; variant (with -ence for -ency) of earlier incompetency. See incompetent, -cy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for incompetencies

Historical Examples

  • He gazed—not without a vague shame—into a perspective of incompetencies.

    From One Generation to Another

    Henry Seton Merriman

  • By all these methods it stimulates his mind, hardens his nature, and supplies his incompetencies.

Word Origin and History for incompetencies



1660s, "inadequacy;" 1716, "want of skill," from French incompétence (mid-16c.), from in- "not, opposite of, without" (see in- (1)) + compétence (see competence). Native formation incompetency (from incompetent + -cy) is attested from 1610s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

incompetencies in Medicine


  1. The quality of being incompetent or incapable of performing a function, as the failure of the cardiac valves to close properly.
  2. The condition of being not legally qualified, as to stand trial.
  3. The inability to distinguish right from wrong or to manage one's affairs.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.