Synonyms & Antonyms of competent

1 having the required skills for an acceptable level of performance
  • any competent mechanic should be able to fix that

Synonyms for competent

Words Related to competent

Phrases Synonymous with competent

Near Antonyms for competent

Antonyms for competent

2 being what is called for by accepted standards of right and wrong
  • the arbiter has all the necessary information to make a competent decision on the matter

Synonyms for competent

Words Related to competent

Near Antonyms for competent

Antonyms for competent

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Frequently Asked Questions About competent

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

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Time Traveler for competent

Time Traveler

The first known use of competent was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Competent.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on competent

Nglish: Translation of competent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of competent for Arabic Speakers


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