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 incompatible (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 City Councilwoman Yvonne Flores-Cale takes issue with the 12-foot-wide concrete portions of the trail, saying concrete is incompatible with the natural aspects of the path. Annie Blanks, San Antonio Express-News, 6 Oct. 2021 But generations of Japanese leaders in the post-war period considered carriers to be incompatible with the country’s new, strictly defensive, military posture. David Axe, Forbes, 5 Oct. 2021 Its popular Ring doorbells and security system are incompatible with Siri, and a second-class citizen with Google. Washington Post, 28 Sep. 2021 Give your dog an enrichment item that is incompatible with barking, that keeps their mouth busy, like a Kong or lick mat. Hannah Harper,, 22 Sep. 2021 The necessity of making a living should not be incompatible with our quest of making a fulfilling life. J. Gerald Suarez, USA TODAY, 17 Sep. 2021 Taking together, the Google study, Edmonson’s findings, and Altman’s anecdotal observations, suggest that a work environment where people consider only one political or ideological viewpoint to be acceptable is incompatible with innovation. Ilana Redstone, Forbes, 30 Aug. 2021 But Judge Angela McCormick Bisig ruled Wednesday the two roles were not incompatible and the TARC general counsel position is not subordinate to the Metro Council. Mary Ramsey, The Courier-Journal, 13 Aug. 2021 His Road to Serfdom shows economic control and political liberty are incompatible. Alexander William Salter, National Review, 22 July 2021

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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Last Updated

9 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Incompatible.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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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 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

More from Merriam-Webster on incompatible

Nglish: Translation of incompatible for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of incompatible for Arabic Speakers


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