[ in-kon-tn-uh nt ]
/ ɪnˈkɒn tn ənt /


unable to restrain natural discharges or evacuations of urine or feces.
unable to contain or retain (usually followed by of): incontinent of temper.
lacking in moderation or self-control, especially of sexual desire.
unceasing or unrestrained: an incontinent flow of talk.

Origin of incontinent

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin incontinent- (stem of incontinēns). See in-3, continent (adj.)

Related forms

in·con·ti·nence, in·con·ti·nen·cy, noun

Can be confused

incontinent inconsistent (see synonym study at inconsistent) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for incontinent

British Dictionary definitions for incontinent (1 of 2)


/ (ɪnˈkɒntɪnənt) /


lacking in restraint or control, esp sexually
relating to or exhibiting involuntary urination or defecation
(foll by of) having little or no control (over)
unrestrained; uncontrolled

Derived Forms

incontinence or incontinency, nounincontinently, adverb

Word Origin for incontinent

C14: from Old French, from Latin incontinens, from in- 1 + continere to hold, restrain

British Dictionary definitions for incontinent (2 of 2)




/ (ɪnˈkɒntɪnənt) /


obsolete words for immediately

Word Origin for incontinent

C15: from Late Latin in continentī tempore, literally: in continuous time, that is, with no interval
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

Medicine definitions for incontinent


[ ĭn-kŏntə-nənt ]


Lacking normal voluntary control of excretory functions.
Lacking sexual restraint; unchaste.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.