com·​pe·​ten·​cy | \ ˈkäm-pə-tən(t)-sē How to pronounce competency (audio) \
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

The event focuses on increasing cultural competency among educators, administrators, and policymakers; raising awareness about relevant issues around education; and providing best practice models for student academic success. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "Everything you need to know about Indiana Black Expo's Summer Celebration in Indianapolis," 10 July 2019 Carter's competency to understand the charges against him and assist in his defense has been in question. Talis Shelbourne, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Accused Sherman Park arson conspirator Vaun Mayes calls federal charges a frame job," 11 June 2019 Find someone who can help you understand how your background, competencies and skill set relate to roles within the organization. Johnny C. Taylor Jr., USA TODAY, "Ask HR: I have to monitor email accounts of former exec. Some are sexually offensive. What do I do?," 26 June 2018 Hagan scheduled a hearing on Monday morning to discuss Kristina Seeley’s competency. Cory Shaffer,, "Lawyer’s attempt to refer Roger Synenberg to treatment program over ‘snitch’ letter backfires, elicits judge’s ire," 10 June 2019 In December, the court ordered a competency exam for Law, Martin said, which was received in March. Craig Lyons, Post-Tribune, "Judge: Sentencing can proceed for woman guilty of human trafficking," 4 June 2019 Even Jim Harbaugh and Erik Kramer might get a few mentions for their 1990s competency. Will Larkin,, "Ranking the 100 best Bears players ever: No. 93, Ed Brown," 5 June 2019 The salary data is made up of a combination of proprietary Randstad Healthcare information and data that was provided by the Economic Research Institute, a resource of robust job competency, cost-of-living, executive compensation and salary surveys. Heather Leighton, Houston Chronicle, "Data shows what engineers in Texas, surrounding states are earning annually," 1 Mar. 2018 As Megan Garber summarized in the Atlantic, scientific research has shown that humans perceive a deeper voice to indicate trustworthiness, attractiveness, competency, and strength in both men and women. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Is Elizabeth Holmes's Deep Voice Just Another Part of Her Scam?," 18 Mar. 2019

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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Dictionary Entries near competency








Statistics for competency

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

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

formal : an ability or skill


com·​pe·​ten·​cy | \ -ən-sē How to pronounce competency (audio) \
plural competencies

Medical Definition of competency


com·​pe·​ten·​cy | \ ˈkäm-pə-tən-sē How to pronounce competency (audio) \

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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Comments on competency

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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