in·​com·​pat·​i·​ble | \ ˌin-kəm-ˈpa-tə-bəl How to pronounce incompatible (audio) \

Definition of incompatible

1 : not compatible: such as
a : incapable of association or harmonious coexistence incompatible colors
b : unsuitable for use together because of undesirable chemical or physiological effects incompatible drugs
c : not both true incompatible propositions
d : incapable of blending into a stable homogeneous mixture
2 : incapable of being held by one person at one time used of offices that make conflicting demands on the holder

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Other Words from incompatible

incompatible noun
incompatibly \ ˌin-​kəm-​ˈpa-​tə-​blē How to pronounce incompatibly (audio) \ adverb

Examples of incompatible in a Sentence

This printer is incompatible with some PCs. the committee's incompatible goals—develop new projects and cut costs—meant that they got very little accomplished
Recent Examples on the Web On the surface, wine bars would seem to be incompatible with the needs of COVID-era dining. Esther Mobley,, "The warm and inviting wine bar is alive at Habibi, a Russian Hill pop-up," 14 Oct. 2020 The iPhone 12 comes with only a USB-C to Lightning cable, which is incompatible with that adapter. Julian Chokkattu, Wired, "The iPhone 12 Ships Without a Charger. Will It Curb E-Waste?," 14 Oct. 2020 Although protests are the exercise of freedom, mobs are incompatible with freedom. Jan Goldsmith, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Commentary: Mobs and freedom don’t mix," 8 Oct. 2020 Commissioners agreed with a number of nearby landowners who said that a mobile home would be incompatible with the large homesites surrounding it. Bill Mchugh,, "Parish zoning meeting marked by denials," 7 Oct. 2020 While his predecessors viewed it as a country that, with some prodding, would gradually open its economy to Western goods and services, Mr. Trump has recast the vision as a U.S. rival whose ways are incompatible with Western economic practices. Laurent Belsie, The Christian Science Monitor, "In the Trump economy, echoes of Hoover and Carter?," 7 Oct. 2020 Phillips sees support for Trump as incompatible with the district and says Qualls' attacks distort his record of working across the aisle. Torey Van Oot Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Dean Phillips and Kendall Qualls vie for moderate voters in Twin Cities swing suburban district," 1 Oct. 2020 Several prominent conservative Twitter accounts criticized the insinuation that Snyder’s support of the NBA’s Black Lives Matter demonstrations and donation to Owens’s campaign were incompatible. Andrew Mark Miller, Washington Examiner, "Burgess Owens responds after white NBA coach catches flak for donating to his campaign," 12 Sep. 2020 The main approach so far has been to look at all the conditions placed upon OPNs to see if at least two are incompatible — to show, in other words, that no number can satisfy both restriction A and restriction B. Quanta Magazine, "Mathematicians Open a New Front on an Ancient Number Problem," 10 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'incompatible.' 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 incompatible

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for incompatible

Middle English, from Medieval Latin incompatibilis, from Latin in- + Medieval Latin compatibilis compatible

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Time Traveler for incompatible

Time Traveler

The first known use of incompatible was in the 15th century

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Statistics for incompatible

Last Updated

20 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Incompatible.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for incompatible


How to pronounce incompatible (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of incompatible

: not able to exist together without trouble or conflict : not going together well
: not able to be used together


in·​com·​pat·​i·​ble | \ ˌin-kəm-ˈpa-tə-bəl How to pronounce incompatible (audio) \

Kids Definition of incompatible

1 : not able to exist together without trouble or conflict incompatible workers incompatible plans
2 : not able to be used together This video game is incompatible with that system.


in·​com·​pat·​i·​ble | \ ˌin-kəm-ˈpat-ə-bəl How to pronounce incompatible (audio) \

Medical Definition of incompatible

1 : unsuitable for use together because of chemical interaction or antagonistic physiological effects incompatible drugs
2 of blood or serum : unsuitable for use in a particular transfusion because of the presence of agglutinins that act against the recipient's red blood cells

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