in·​com·​pat·​i·​ble | \ˌin-kəm-ˈpa-tə-bəl \

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 \ 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

But enforcing laws and negotiating a trade deal aren’t incompatible. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Education of Huawei," 6 Dec. 2018 Adding dark matter with mass up to 1.2GeV renders neutron star models incompatible with observations, effectively eliminating that possibility. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Dark matter not at the core of neutron stars," 9 Aug. 2018 This is, generally speaking, an approach incompatible with a media environment that ruthlessly records, dissects and parses each moment, examining it hard for flaws. Jon Caramanica, New York Times, "Into the Wild With Kanye West," 25 June 2018 While Wenger's free flowing football wasn't incompatible with Wilshere, Sarri's famed vertical passing structure could add a new dimension to his game., "Why Chelsea Should Take a Punt on Super Jack Wilshere and Make Him the Golden Boy He Deserves to Be," 22 June 2018 Not unlike socialism in the 19th century and communism in the 20th, populism today is used not as a signal for necessary policy change but as a convenient excuse to dismiss social demands as incompatible with liberal democracy. Angelos Chryssogelos, Time, "The Populism Debate Ignores the Real Lessons of Italy's Political Crisis," 31 May 2018 Catholic schools do not teach that evolution is incompatible with the Bible and follow strict curriculum standards. Annie Martin,, "Scholarship programs at private schools need change, lawmakers say," 8 June 2018 But blockchain technology may be fundamentally incompatible with Europe’s new privacy rules, Washington, DC think tank Coin Center said today in a new post. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "Major blockchain group says Europe should exempt Bitcoin from new data privacy rule," 5 Apr. 2018 If the Supreme Court rules tomorrow that the ban is incompatible with the U.K.’s Human Rights Act, May will be under even more pressure to act. Ciara Nugent, Time, "Why Ireland’s Abortion Result Is a Political Headache for British Prime Minister Theresa May," 6 June 2018

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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Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for incompatible

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

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More Definitions for incompatible



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 \

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 \

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

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having a pattern of small flowers

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