- without skill or aptitude for a particular task or assignment; maladroit: He is inept at mechanical tasks. She is inept at dealing with people.
- generally awkward or clumsy; haplessly incompetent.
- inappropriate; unsuitable; out of place.
- absurd or foolish: an inept remark.
Origin of inept
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for ineptness
They are not only those identified by the prime minister, such as ineptness of the original police investigation.The Paper That Died of Shame
July 7, 2011
The other was found in the ineptness of the Ottoman government.The Iron Ration
George Abel Schreiner
Under rather more difficult conditions, the Necrophorus repeats the ineptness of the Turkey.The Glow-Worm and Other Beetles
Jean Henri Fabre
Their "lameness" and "ineptness" and "impotence" plainly arose from disinclination alone.The Loyalists of America and Their Times, Vol. 1 of 2
The inefficiency and ineptness of the Secretary of State have been a reproach to the country.
Mortified by the consciousness of his own ineptness—or ineptitude—the fellow was simply trying to hamper and obstruct.Right Ho, Jeeves
P. G. Wodehouse
- awkward, clumsy, or incompetent
- not suitable, appropriate, or fitting; out of place
C17: from Latin ineptus, from in- 1 + aptus fitting, suitable
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 ineptness
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper