Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

incompetent

play
adjective in·com·pe·tent \(ˌ)in-ˈkäm-pə-tənt\

Simple Definition of incompetent

  • : lacking necessary ability or skills

  • law : not able to take part in a trial

Full Definition of incompetent

  1. 1 :  not legally qualified

  2. 2 :  inadequate to or unsuitable for a particular purpose

  3. 3 a :  lacking the qualities needed for effective action b :  unable to function properly <incompetent heart valves>

incompetent noun
in·com·pe·tent·ly adverb

Examples of incompetent

  1. He is too incompetent to be trusted with such an important responsibility.

  2. The patient is mentally incompetent.

  3. The defendant was declared incompetent to stand trial.



Origin of incompetent

Middle French incompétent, from in- + compétent competent


First Known Use: 1595


Medical Dictionary

incompetent

play
adjective in·com·pe·tent \(ˈ)in-ˈkäm-pət-ənt\

Medical Definition of incompetent

  1. 1:  not legally qualified; especially :  incapable due to a mental or physical condition

  2. 2:  unable to function properly <incompetent heart valves>

  3. in·com·pe·tent·ly adverb





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up incompetent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

kittly-benders pince-nez spindrift duvet
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ