incompatible

adjective

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

Example Sentences

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 The New York Times suggesting that belief in evolution might be incompatible with the Catholic faith. Rachel Donadio, New York Times, 31 Dec. 2022 Julia was stunned to hear trisomy 16 was incompatible with life. Anna Clark, ProPublica, 6 Dec. 2022 People reported today that the couple have split up due to their busy and incompatible schedules. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 21 Nov. 2022 Some backers of Ukraine have power systems with elements that are incompatible with Ukraine’s, while other counties will be unlikely to part with their own spare parts. Emily Rauhala, Washington Post, 29 Nov. 2022 Much of the existing housing in Kivalina is incompatible with the Arctic climate and riddled with black mold. Emily Witt, The New Yorker, 21 Nov. 2022 These two cases show that freedom and autonomy for animals are not incompatible with intelligent human stewardship. Martha C. Nussbaum, The New York Review of Books, 17 Nov. 2022 But creating such devices has proved difficult, since current forms of memory are incompatible with the technology in processors. Allison Whitten, Quanta Magazine, 10 Nov. 2022 In Dying for Time, the philosopher Martin Hägglund observes that these two positions are incompatible. Ryan Ruby, Harper’s Magazine , 26 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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

Dictionary Entries Near incompatible

Cite this Entry

“Incompatible.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/incompatible. Accessed 28 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

incompatible

adjective
in·​com·​pat·​i·​ble ˌin-kəm-ˈpat-ə-bəl How to pronounce incompatible (audio)
1
: not able to be brought together in harmony
their personalities were incompatible
incompatible colors
2
a
: not able to be used together
incompatible computer systems
b
: unsuitable for use together because of undesirable chemical or bodily effects
incompatible blood types
incompatibly adverb

Medical Definition

incompatible

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

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