in·​com·​pe·​ten·​cy (ˌ)in-ˈkäm-pə-tən(t)-sē How to pronounce incompetency (audio)

Example Sentences

the incompetency of the secretary was revealed only after she had left the company, and her successor discovered years of filing left undone
Recent Examples on the Web Unrealistic projections, spending, and hiring might not have been the result of incompetency but of short-termism and pandering to the gods of Wall Street (i.e., the capitalistic machine the executives rail against in their stakeholder comments). Ron Shevlin, Forbes, 6 Feb. 2023 Under state statutes, claims of mental incompetency must first be reviewed before any case can proceed in criminal court. Jim Riccioli, Journal Sentinel, 10 Dec. 2022 That hearing had initially been set for Sept. 2 and was postponed by Perry's mental incompetency claims. Jim Riccioli, Journal Sentinel, 10 Dec. 2022 In the final days of the race, Warnock has sought to stress his opponent’s incompetency and lying. Tori Otten, The New Republic, 1 Dec. 2022 But if people laugh at Homer Simpson and his ilk for their bellicose incompetency, the humor here lies in Elliot’s surplus of empathy. Adrienne Matei, The Atlantic, 29 Nov. 2022 Refusing to go before constituents is an absolute manifestation of your corruption & incompetency for the job. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 11 Oct. 2022 The man accused of tackling Dave Chappelle onstage at the Hollywood Bowl is weighing an offer from prosecutors in his misdemeanor case and has made no claim of mental incompetency, Rolling Stone has learned. Nancy Dillon, Rolling Stone, 2 June 2022 Voters in February recalled three school board members for incompetency and focusing on the wrong priorities during the pandemic, but the ineptitude certainly wasn’t limited to just them. Heather Knight, San Francisco Chronicle, 6 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'incompetency.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1611, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of incompetency was in 1611

Dictionary Entries Near incompetency

Cite this Entry

“Incompetency.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


in·​com·​pe·​ten·​cy (ˈ)in-ˈkäm-pət-ən-sē How to pronounce incompetency (audio)
plural incompetencies

Medical Definition


in·​com·​pe·​ten·​cy -ən-sē How to pronounce incompetency (audio)
plural incompetencies

Legal Definition


in·​com·​pe·​ten·​cy in-ˈkäm-pə-tən-sē How to pronounce incompetency (audio)
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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