Definition of inept
ineptlyplay \i-ˈnep(t)-lē\ adverb
ineptnessplay \i-ˈnept-nəs\ noun
Examples of inept in a Sentence
Not only does the post have a narrow mandate, covering such sexy subjects as nuclear waste and solar energy, but the secretary presides over the most inept bureaucrats in the land. —Franklin Foer, New Republic, 3 July 2000
The real hackers have an understanding of technology at a basic level. … The rest are talentless poseurs and hangers-on, either completely inept or basic criminals. —Bruce Schneier, Secrets & Lies, 2000
To Cornelius, the White House travel office must have seemed—as it would have to any of the others who had served on the tight ship of the campaign's travel operation—an appallingly inept … operation. —Peter J. Boyer, New Yorker, 15 Apr. 1996
He was completely inept at sports.
He made an inept attempt to apologize.
Recent Examples of inept from the Web
The one thing helping Lynch is that Siemian struggled down the stretch, though Denver’s inept rushing game was a big reason for the team’s inefficiency.
Doing so would be to admit their complicity in bringing a leader as inept and warped as Trump to office.
Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks are parting ways, ending one of the most inept presidential reigns in franchise history.
Russ Kembel, Redmond Start a new league Seattle will never get an NBA franchise while the current NBA is led by the same people who allowed the Sonics to be bought under false pretenses, hire an inept coach and cause the fans to lose interest.
Service was utterly charming, well-meaning and noticeably inept.
And the endless series of near misses by the ravenous sharks certainly qualifies them as the most inept predators on the planet.
The Taliban, which represents an extreme version of Islam, also is benefiting from a lack of popular support for the central government, which is widely viewed as inept, corrupt and a puppet of the United States.
Things really take off when Daniel is wrongly diagnosed with a terminal illness by his inept doctor (played by Nick Frost), who convinces him to play along with the misdiagnosis.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inept'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of inept
Middle French inepte, from Latin ineptus, from in- + aptus apt
First Known Use: 1542See Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of inept
INEPT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of inept for English Language Learners
: lacking skill or ability
: showing a lack of skill or ability : not done well
INEPT Defined for Kids
Definition of inept for Students
1 : not suited to the occasion an inept remark
2 : lacking in skill or ability an inept painter
Word Root of inept
The Latin word aptus, meaning “fit” or “suitable,” gives us the root apt or ept. Words from the Latin aptus have something to do with being fitting or suitable. Something apt fits just right into a situation. To adapt is to change in order to fit a situation better. Someone who is adept has suitable skills to perform a task well, while someone who is inept does not.
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