[ in-kom-pi-tuhnt ]
/ ɪnˈkɒm pɪ tənt /


not competent; lacking qualification or ability; incapable: an incompetent candidate.
characterized by or showing incompetence: His incompetent acting ruined the play.
  1. being unable or legally unqualified to perform specified acts or to be held legally responsible for such acts.
  2. inadmissible, as evidence.


an incompetent person; a mentally deficient person.
Law. a person lacking power to act with legal effectiveness.

Origin of incompetent

1590–1600; < Late Latin incompetent- (stem of incompetēns) unsuitable. See in-3, competent

OTHER WORDS FROM incompetent

in·com·pe·tent·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for incompetently

British Dictionary definitions for incompetently

/ (ɪnˈkɒmpɪtənt) /


not possessing the necessary ability, skill, etc to do or carry out a task; incapable
marked by lack of ability, skill, etc
law not legally qualifiedan incompetent witness
(of rock strata, folds, etc) yielding readily to pressure so as to undergo structural deformation


an incompetent person

Derived forms of incompetent

incompetence or incompetency, nounincompetently, adverb
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 incompetently

[ ĭn-kŏmpĭ-tənt ]


Inadequate for or unsuited to a particular purpose or application.
Incapable of proper functioning.
Not qualified in legal terms.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.