incomplete

adjective

in·​com·​plete ˌin-kəm-ˈplēt How to pronounce incomplete (audio)
1
: not complete : unfinished: such as
a
: lacking a usually necessary part, element, or step
spoke in incomplete sentences
an incomplete set of golf clubs
an incomplete diet
b
of protein : deficient in one or more essential amino acids
People used to think you needed to eat incomplete proteins together in the same meal to make up a complete protein, but that view has been debunked; simply eat a variety of plant-based protein sources throughout the day and you'll be fine.Katherine Hobson
c
: lacking one or more sets of floral organs
an incomplete flower without stamens
2
of a football pass : not legally caught
3
of insect metamorphosis : characterized by the absence of a pupal stage between the immature stages and the adult of an insect in which the young usually resemble the adult compare complete sense 6
incompletely adverb
incompleteness noun

Examples of incomplete in a Sentence

an incomplete set of encyclopedias She handed in an incomplete assignment.
Recent Examples on the Web Statistics from Mexico’s federal government paint an incomplete but helpful illustration of the true dimensions of the problem. Nathaniel Parish Flannery, Forbes, 28 Feb. 2024 Overall, the study found 51% of the chatbots’ responses were inaccurate, 40% were harmful, 38% were incomplete, and 13% were biased. Britney Nguyen, Quartz, 28 Feb. 2024 Though data is incomplete, experts say enough is known to show that chases are a serious public safety concern. Katie Moore, Kansas City Star, 25 Feb. 2024 More Precise Data Bovo believes that the data available to track migrants heading to Hialeah is incomplete at best, and says the federal government has been stingy with its information. Verónica Egui Brito, Miami Herald, 23 Feb. 2024 With records incomplete or missing, Montford Point Marines are continuing to be identified. Graham Womack, Sacramento Bee, 22 Feb. 2024 As of Wednesday, Chang’s campaign filings were incomplete online. Grace Hase, The Mercury News, 22 Feb. 2024 The Pentagon further blamed the team for writing incomplete prescriptions that were missing information required by the Drug Enforcement Administration, as well as years of shoddy record-keeping. Michael Kranish, Washington Post, 16 Feb. 2024 Upping the Ante An incomplete collection of some of the straight-up weirdest gambles in history By Teddy Brokaw Dice Hard Roman Emperor Nero gambled extravagantly during his first-century A.D. reign, often in games with four dice. Chris Carra, Smithsonian Magazine, 15 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'incomplete.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English incompleet, from Late Latin incompletus, from Latin in- + completus complete

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of incomplete was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near incomplete

Cite this Entry

“Incomplete.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/incomplete. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

incomplete

adjective
in·​com·​plete ˌin-kəm-ˈplēt How to pronounce incomplete (audio)
: not complete : lacking some part
handed in an incomplete assignment
incompletely adverb
incompleteness noun

Medical Definition

incomplete

adjective
in·​com·​plete ˌin-kəm-ˈplēt How to pronounce incomplete (audio)
1
of insect metamorphosis : having no pupal stage between the immature stages and the adult with the young insect usually resembling the adult compare complete sense 1
2
of a bone fracture : not broken entirely across compare complete sense 2
3
of a protein : deficient in one or more essential amino acids compare complete sense 3
4
: characterized by incomplete dominance
an incomplete trait

More from Merriam-Webster on incomplete

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