in·​con·​ti·​nent | \ (ˌ)in-ˈkän-tə-nənt How to pronounce incontinent (audio) \

Definition of incontinent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not continent: such as
a : unable to voluntarily control retention of urine or feces in the body
b(1) : lacking self-restraint
(2) : not being under control



Definition of incontinent (Entry 2 of 2)

Examples of incontinent in a Sentence

Adjective special products for incontinent patients
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Listen at one point or another, many of us have dated a gross guy who is verbally incontinent and causes a wildfire fight amongst lady friends. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "The Real Housewives of New York City Taught Me Everything I Know About Confrontation," 26 Sep. 2020 Nonskid rugs are great in homes with golden-age dogs that may become incontinent because of kidney disease or as a side effect of heart medication, to name just a couple of potential causes. Kim Campbell Thornton Andrews Mcmeel, Star Tribune, "Tips to keep dogs from slip-sliding away," 28 Aug. 2020 Already incontinent, now Benton couldn’t walk or lift himself out of a chair or bed. Jessica Ravitz, ajc, "A caretaker’s dilemma," 25 Apr. 2020 Over a period of days, this patient, who had heart disease, diabetes and moderate cognitive impairment, stopped walking and became incontinent and profoundly lethargic. Judith Graham, CNN, "Seniors with Covid-19 show unusual symptoms, doctors say," 23 Apr. 2020 At Hacienda, most of the residents are incontinent and wear diapers. Stephanie Innes, azcentral, "Hacienda HealthCare patient rape case prompts federal legislation," 13 Feb. 2020 The new president replaced his predecessor’s incontinent spending with a programme of austerity, backed with a $4.2bn loan from the IMF. The Economist, "Rafael Correa in court Ecuador’s trial of the century opens," 6 Feb. 2020 Services at the new Center include: Urogynecology: Over 11 million women in the United States are incontinent, and this is a health issue that is not easy to discuss for many of them. St. Elizabeth Healthcare,, "Convenient, comprehensive women’s care in the Northern Kentucky Community," 9 Aug. 2019 Despite fetal surgery, many children with spina bifida are incontinent. Denise Grady, New York Times, "A Boy Who Had Spinal Surgery in the Womb Stands on His Own Two Feet," 24 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'incontinent.' 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 incontinent


14th century, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for incontinent


Middle English, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin incontinent-, incontinens, from in- + continent-, continens continent


Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin in continenti

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Time Traveler for incontinent

Time Traveler

The first known use of incontinent was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Incontinent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for incontinent



English Language Learners Definition of incontinent

medical : not having control of your bladder or bowels


in·​con·​ti·​nent | \ (ˈ)in-ˈkänt-ᵊn-ənt How to pronounce incontinent (audio) \

Medical Definition of incontinent

: not continent especially : unable to retain a bodily discharge (as urine) voluntarily

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