Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

incompetent

[in-kom-pi-tuh nt]
See more synonyms for incompetent on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. not competent; lacking qualification or ability; incapable: an incompetent candidate.
  2. characterized by or showing incompetence: His incompetent acting ruined the play.
  3. Law.
    1. being unable or legally unqualified to perform specified acts or to be held legally responsible for such acts.
    2. inadmissible, as evidence.
Show More
noun
  1. an incompetent person; a mentally deficient person.
  2. Law. a person lacking power to act with legal effectiveness.
Show More

Origin of incompetent

1590–1600; < Late Latin incompetent- (stem of incompetēns) unsuitable. See in-3, competent
Related formsin·com·pe·tent·ly, adverb

Synonyms

See more synonyms for incompetent on Thesaurus.com
1. unqualified, inadequate, unfit. See incapable.

Antonyms

1. able, qualified.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for incompetently

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for incompetently

incompetent

adjective
  1. not possessing the necessary ability, skill, etc to do or carry out a task; incapable
  2. marked by lack of ability, skill, etc
  3. law not legally qualifiedan incompetent witness
  4. (of rock strata, folds, etc) yielding readily to pressure so as to undergo structural deformation
Show More
noun
  1. an incompetent person
Show More
Derived Formsincompetence 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

Word Origin and History for incompetently

incompetent

adj.

1610s, "insufficient," from French incompétent, from Late Latin incompetentem (nominative incompetens) "insufficient," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + Latin competentem (see competent). Sense of "lacking qualification or ability" first recorded 1630s. The noun meaning "incompetent person" is from 1866. Related: Incompetently.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

incompetently in Medicine

incompetent

(ĭn-kŏmpĭ-tənt)
adj.
  1. Inadequate for or unsuited to a particular purpose or application.
  2. Incapable of proper functioning.
  3. Not qualified in legal terms.
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.