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Webster 1913 Edition


Incompetent

In-com′pe-tent

,
Adj.
[L.
incompetens
: cf. F.
incompétent
. See
In-
not, and
Competent
.]
1.
Not competent; wanting in adequate strength, power, capacity, means, qualifications, or the like; incapable; unable; inadequate; unfit.
Incompetent
to perform the duties of the place.
Macaulay.
Richard III. had a resolution, out of hatred to his brethren, to disable their issues, upon false and
incompetent
pretexts, the one of attainder, the other of illegitimation.
Bacon.
Syn. – Incapable; unable; inadequate; insufficient; inefficient; disqualified; unfit; improper.
Incompetent
,
Incapable
. Incompetent is a relative term, denoting a lack of the requisite qualifications for performing a given act, service, etc.; incapable is absolute in its meaning, denoting lack of power, either natural or moral. We speak of a man as incompetent to a certain task, of an incompetent judge, etc. We say of an idiot that he is incapable of learning to read; and of a man distinguished for his honor, that he is incapable of a mean action.

Webster 1828 Edition


Incompetent

INCOM'PETENT

,
Adj.
[L. in and competens, competo. See Incompatible.]
1.
Wanting adequate powers of mind or suitable faculties; as an incompetent judge. Infancy, derangement, want of learning or dotage may render a person incompetent to fill an office or to transact business.
2.
Wanting due strength or suitable faculties; unable.
3.
Wanting the legal or constitutional qualifications. A person convicted of a crime, is an incompetent witness in a court of law or equity.
4.
Destitute of means; unable.
5.
Inadequate; insufficient; as incompetent testimony.
6.
Unfit; improper; legally unavailable.
It is incompetent for the defendant to make this defense.

Definition 2022


incompetent

incompetent

See also: incompétent

English

Adjective

incompetent

  1. Unskilled, lacking normally expected degree of ability.
    Having an incompetent lawyer may be grounds for a retrial, but the lawyer in question probably doesn't know that.
  2. Unable to make rational decisions, insane or otherwise cognitively impaired.
    The charged was judged incompetent to stand trial, at least until his medication started working.
  3. (medicine) an incompetent cervix is one that opens too early in pregnancy, provoking the baby to be born.

Synonyms

  • See also Wikisaurus:bad

Translations

Usage notes

The form incompetent of, as in "I am incompetent of doing anything!" is heard (US). It is incorrect, the intended word is incapable.

Noun

incompetent (plural incompetents)

  1. A person who is incompetent.