SYNONYMS | WORD ORIGIN adjective having suitable or sufficient skill, knowledge, experience, etc., for some purpose; properly qualified: He is perfectly competent to manage the bank branch. adequate but not exceptional. . Law (of a witness, a party to a contract, etc.) having legal competence, as by meeting certain minimum requirements of age, soundness of mind, or the like. . Geology (of a bed or stratum) able to undergo folding without flowage or change in thickness. Origin of competent 1350–1400; Middle English
present participle of
to meet, agree). See
-ent Related forms com·pe·tent·ly, adverb non·com·pe·tent, adjective non·com·pe·tent·ly, adverb ul·tra·com·pe·tent, adjective un·com·pe·tent, adjective un·com·pe·tent·ly, adverb
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for uncompetent adjective having sufficient skill, knowledge, etc; capable suitable or sufficient for the purpose a competent answer law (of a witness) having legal capacity; qualified to testify, etc ( postpositive foll by to) belonging as a right; appropriate Derived Forms competently, adverb competentness, noun Word Origin for competent
C14: from Latin
competēns, from competere to be competent; see compete
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for uncompetent adj.
late 14c., "suitable," from Old French
competent "sufficient, appropriate, suitable," from Latin competentem (nominative competens), present participle of competere "coincide, agree" (see compete). Meaning "able, fit" is from 1640s. Legal sense is late 15c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
adj. Properly or sufficiently qualified; capable. Capable of performing an allotted or required function. Legally qualified or fit to perform an act. Able to distinguish right from wrong and to manage one's affairs.
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