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

Thesaurus

inept

adjective

Synonyms and Antonyms of inept

  1. 1 lacking qualities (as knowledge, skill, or ability) required to do a job <a well-meaning but inept secretary who can't seem to keep the boss's appointments straight> Synonyms inapt, incapable, incompetent, inexpert, unable, unfit, unfitted, unqualified, unskilled, unskillfulRelated Words ineffective, ineffectual, inefficient; amateurish, callow, dilettantish, green, inexperienced, raw, unprofessional; unequipped, unprepared, untrained; useless, worthless; disqualified, ineligible; wantingNear Antonyms prepared, ready, trained; overqualified; accomplished, ace, adept, consummate, crack, experienced, practiced (also practised), seasoned, veteran, virtuoso; all-around (also all-round), protean, versatileAntonyms able, capable, competent, expert, fit, qualified, skilled, skillful, ultracompetent

  2. 2 not appropriate for a particular occasion or situation <an inept comparison between nursing-home residents and day-care children that many found offensive> Synonyms amiss, graceless, improper, inapposite, inapt, incongruous, incorrect, indecorous, inappropriate, infelicitous, malapropos, perverse, unapt, unbecoming, unfit, unhappy, unseemly, unsuitable, untoward, wrongRelated Words inopportune, unfortunate, unseasonable, untimely; extraneous, immaterial, inapplicable, irrelative, irrelevant; misbecoming, mismatched; incompatible, inconsistent, uncongenial; bad, naughty, sinful; blamable, blameworthy, censurable; banned, barred, disallowed; forbidden, interdicted, outlawed, prohibited, proscribed; awkward, gauche, ungraceful; unacceptable, unsatisfactoryNear Antonyms fortunate, opportune, seasonable, timely; applicable, apposite, apropos, apt, germane, material, pat, pointed, relative, relevant; compatible, congenial, harmonious; allowed, authorized, permitted; approved, endorsed (also indorsed), kosher, licensed, sanctioned; abetted, encouraged, promoted, supported; acceptable, adequate, all right, decent, fine, OK (or okay), passable, respectable, satisfactory, tolerable; commendable, creditable, exemplary; blameless, irreproachable; balanced, companionate, congruous, consonant, harmoniousAntonyms appropriate, becoming, befitting, correct, decorous, felicitous, fit, fitting, genteel, happy, meet, proper, right, seemly, suitable

  3. 3 showing or marked by a lack of skill and tact (as in dealing with a situation) <an inept effort to become friends with their future son-in-law> Synonyms botched, bungling, clumsy, fumbled, awkward, inexpert, maladroitRelated Words amateur, amateurish, crude, green, incompetent, ineffectual, inefficient, inexperienced, unpolished, unprofessional, unskilled, unskillful; careless, sloppy, tacky, tactless, undiplomatic; ill-advised, ineffective, ineffectual, misdirected, misguidedNear Antonyms able, accomplished, adept, capable, clever, competent, consummate, crackerjack, expert, masterful, masterly, polished, professional, proficient, skilled, skillful, talented; diplomatic, easy, effortless, gracious, smooth, tactfulAntonyms adroit, deft, dexterous (also dextrous), facile

  4. 4 showing or marked by a lack of good sense or judgment <she offers one inept suggestion after another for saving the parish church> Synonyms absurd, asinine, balmy, brainless, bubbleheaded, cockeyed, crackpot, crazy, cuckoo, daffy, daft, dippy, dotty, fatuous, featherheaded, fool, half-baked, harebrained, half-witted, foolish, insane, jerky, kooky (also kookie), loony (also looney), lunatic, lunkheaded, mad, nonsensical, nutty, preposterous, sappy, screwball, senseless, silly, simpleminded, stupid, tomfool, unwise, wacky (also whacky), weak-minded, witless, zanyRelated Words airheaded, birdbrained, boobish, brain-dead, chowderheaded, chuckleheaded, clueless, dense, dim, dim-witted, doltish, dopey (also dopy), dorky [slang], dull, dumb, dunderheaded, empty-headed, fatuous, feebleminded, gormless [chiefly British], idiotic (also idiotical), imbecile (or imbecilic), knuckleheaded, lamebrain (or lamebrained), mindless, moronic, oafish, obtuse, opaque, pinheaded, simple, slow, slow-witted, soft, softheaded, thoughtless, thick, thickheaded, unintelligent, vacuous, witless; fallacious, illogical, invalid, irrational, nonrational, surd, unreasonable, unreasoning, unsound, weak; farcical, laughable, ludicrous, ridiculous; notional; buffoonish, clownish; ill-advised, unconsidered, unreasonedNear Antonyms brainy, bright, clever, intelligent, smart; logical, rational, reasonable, valid; well-advisedAntonyms judicious, prudent, sagacious, sage, sane, sapient, sensible, sound, wise




Learn More about inept


Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

in the capacity or character of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

fox-in-summer-forest

Which of these is a synonym of inchoate?

frightening formless experimental massive
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ