[ in-kon-tn-uhnt ]
See synonyms for: incontinentincontinenceincontinency on

  1. unable to restrain natural discharges or evacuations of urine or feces.

  2. unable to contain or retain (usually followed by of): incontinent of temper.

  1. lacking in moderation or self-control, especially of sexual desire.

  2. unceasing or unrestrained: an incontinent flow of talk.

Origin of incontinent

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Latin incontinent- (stem of incontinēns ); see in-3, continent (adjective)

Other words from incontinent

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

Words that may be confused with incontinent

Words Nearby incontinent Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use incontinent in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for incontinent (1 of 2)


/ (ɪnˈkɒntɪnənt) /

  1. lacking in restraint or control, esp sexually

  2. relating to or exhibiting involuntary urination or defecation

  1. (foll by of) having little or no control (over)

  2. unrestrained; uncontrolled

Origin of incontinent

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

Derived forms of incontinent

  • incontinence or incontinency, noun
  • incontinently, adverb

British Dictionary definitions for incontinent (2 of 2)



/ (ɪnˈkɒntɪnənt) /

  1. obsolete words for immediately

Origin of 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