[ in-ept, ih-nept ]
See synonyms for: ineptineptitudeineptlyineptness on

  1. without skill or aptitude for a particular task or assignment; maladroit: He is inept at mechanical tasks. She is inept at dealing with people.

  2. generally awkward or clumsy; haplessly incompetent.

  1. inappropriate; unsuitable; out of place.

  2. absurd or foolish: an inept remark.

Origin of inept

First recorded in 1595–1605; from Latin ineptus, equivalent to in- in-3 + -eptus, combining form of aptus apt

Other words for inept

Opposites for inept

Other words from inept

  • in·ept·ly, adverb
  • in·ept·ness, in·ept·i·tude, noun

Words that may be confused with inept Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use inept in a sentence

  • Hoddan was again in sanctuary inside the Embassy they'd guarded so ineptly through the dark.

    The Pirates of Ersatz | Murray Leinster

British Dictionary definitions for inept


/ (ɪnˈɛpt) /

  1. awkward, clumsy, or incompetent

  2. not suitable, appropriate, or fitting; out of place

Origin of inept

C17: from Latin ineptus, from in- 1 + aptus fitting, suitable

Derived forms of inept

  • ineptitude, noun
  • ineptly, adverb
  • ineptness, noun

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