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

Definition of incompatible

1 : incapable of being held by one person at one time used of offices that make conflicting demands on the holder
2 : 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

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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 Pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong was disqualified from running after the government ruled that his political beliefs were incompatible with the constitution. Eric Cheung, CNN, "Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong banned from running in local election," 29 Oct. 2019 Some vendors are concerned the new Flower Mart project and nearby traffic will be incompatible with the industrial flower business, which requires heavy trucks. Roland Li,, "Selling the future of SoMa: New SF Flower Mart seeks tech tenants," 17 Oct. 2019 If there were no limit to the government’s ability to prorogue, that would be incompatible with parliamentary sovereignty. The Economist, "The Supreme Court puts more obstacles before Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan," 26 Sep. 2019 Not just because of the legislative interference in a private corporation but because its incompatible with bedrock First Amendment precedents. Benjamin Wallace-wells, The New Yorker, "David French, Sohrab Ahmari, and the Battle for the Future of Conservatism," 12 Sep. 2019 Other constitutional provisions were also incompatible with slavery. Timothy Sandefur, National Review, "The Anti-Slavery Constitution," 12 Sep. 2019 Cities without a crisis center rely on standard medical emergency rooms, which often are incompatible for acute psychiatric care. John Schmid, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee County wants to retool the way it helps people suffering from a mental health crisis. Consensus is lacking.," 24 July 2019 The council could accept the proposal or stand by the ruling by the commission, which cited concerns about vehicle circulation and said the development would be incompatible with adjacent buildings. Priscella Vega,, "Developer appeals Huntington Beach commission's denial of 48-unit residential-commercial project," 3 July 2019 That argument channels a time-worn view, held by thinkers from Karl Marx to Friedrich Hayek, that democracy and capitalism may prove incompatible. The Economist, "How compatible are democracy and capitalism?," 13 June 2019

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 1

History and Etymology for incompatible

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

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Statistics for incompatible

Last Updated

12 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for incompatible

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

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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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Comments on incompatible

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


a calculated move

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