com·​pe·​ten·​cy | \ˈkäm-pə-tən(t)-sē \
plural competencies

Definition of competency 

: competence raised the issue of the defendant's competency to stand trial

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Examples of competency in a Sentence

Critics have questioned the director's competency. she's proved that she has the competency to run a major company

Recent Examples on the Web

For months, his supporters and lawyers have sought to discredit Brinkley in a public campaign challenging her credibility and competency. Mark Fazlollah,, "Philly Judge Genece Brinkley's lawyer on tape: She made big mistakes in Meek Mill case," 3 July 2018 His court case resumed when it was determined that his mental competency was restored. Lyndsay Winkley,, "Did the 'system' fail mentally ill man who shot 2 San Diego police officers? Some think so," 1 July 2018 Should Edwards regain competency, the state will be able to file charges against him. David Owens,, "Hartford Man Who Police Say Set Apartment On Fire To Break Lease Declared Incompetent," 25 Apr. 2018 This means in the future a lower portion of a lower budget will be dedicated to core competencies of war. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Houston, We Have a Space Force," 4 July 2018 But to embody the physical and psychological competency to race up the most iconic wall on the planet in a couple of hours must feel like flying. Kelly Cordes, Outside Online, "Even Tommy Caldwell Questioned the Nose Speed Record," 13 June 2018 Miyake said Phan should be sent to a hospital for four months to have his competency restored. Martha Bellisle, Fox News, "Judge finds man accused of mailing explosives incompetent," 13 July 2018 But a judge noted he likely would regain his competency with treatment. Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A triple homicide, a son left behind: How a Milwaukee police detective built a trusting bond with a survivor of violence," 6 July 2018 His public defender, Claud Chong, stipulated to Mimms’ competency Wednesday. David Owens,, "Man With 130 Arrests Charged in Home Invasion Found Competent," 30 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'competency.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of competency

1596, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for competency

see competent

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Statistics for competency

Last Updated

24 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for competency

The first known use of competency was in 1596

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More Definitions for competency



English Language Learners Definition of competency

: an ability or skill


com·​pe·​ten·​cy | \-ən-sē \
plural competencies

Medical Definition of competency 


com·​pe·​ten·​cy | \ˈkäm-pə-tən-sē \

Legal Definition of competency 

1 : the quality or state of being mentally competent — compare capacity, incompetence, insanity

2 : the quality or state of being legally qualified or adequate the competency, quantum and legal effect of evidenceState v. Scoggin, 72 S.E.2d 54 (1952)

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playful or foolish behavior

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