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Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective competent contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of competent are adequate, enough, and sufficient. While all these words mean "being what is necessary or desirable," competent suggests measuring up to all requirements without question or being adequately adapted to an end.

had no competent notion of what was going on

When could adequate be used to replace competent?

The words adequate and competent can be used in similar contexts, but adequate may imply barely meeting a requirement.

the service was adequate

How are the words enough and sufficient related as synonyms of competent?

Enough is less exact in suggestion than sufficient.

do you have enough food?

When is sufficient a more appropriate choice than competent?

The meanings of sufficient and competent largely overlap; however, sufficient suggests a close meeting of a need.

sufficient savings

Thesaurus Entries Near competent

Cite this Entry

“Competent.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/competent. Accessed 3 Dec. 2022.

More from Merriam-Webster on competent

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