Definition of competence
1 : a sufficiency of means for the necessities and conveniences of life “ … money can only give happiness where there is nothing else to give it. Beyond a competence, it can afford no real satisfaction … ” — Jane Austen
2 : the quality or state of being competent: such asa : the properties of an embryonic field that enable it to respond in a characteristic manner to an organizerb : readiness of bacteria to undergo genetic transformation
3 : the knowledge that enables a person to speak and understand a language has demonstrated competence in conversational Arabic — compare performance 6
Examples of competence in a Sentence
He trusts in the competence of his doctor.
questioned his competence to finish the task without help
Recent Examples of competence from the Web
No single meat is transcendent, but everything — especially the high-degree-of-difficulty chicken and turkey — is cooked with remarkable competence.
Both Mr. Avery and Ms. Halbach are victims of a justice system whose success depends upon the integrity, competence and devotion of judges, law enforcement, prosecutors, and defense attorneys.
Margaret E. Sobota looked at the correlation between living in a single-mother household and heterosocial competence.
The panel’s eight Republican senators will try to impugn Comey’s competence and integrity, and paint the intelligence community as biased against Trump.
Relentless competence requires getting the little things right.
The Early Head Start program is designed to promote school readiness for children by enhancing their developmental and social competence.
Its vision of politics is one of competence, in which everyone from junior staffers to presidents have veneers of poise that hide modern Machiavellis.
Also front and center is Honda’s competence in chassis development, particularly in the all-important aspect of steering.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'competence'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
COMPETENCE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of competence for English Language Learners
: the ability to do something well : the quality or state of being competent
COMPETENCE Defined for Kids
Definition of competence for Students
: the quality or state of being capable
Medical Definition of competence
: the quality or state of being functionally adequate assess the competence of the immune system: asa: the properties of an embryonic field that enable it to respond in a characteristic manner to an organizerb: readiness of bacteria to undergo genetic transformation
Legal Definition of competence
: the quality or state of being competent: as a : possession of sufficient knowledge or skill b : legal authority, ability, or admissibility a court of general competence the competence of witnesses challenge the competence of the evidence
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