Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The state or quality of being adequately or well qualified; ability. See Synonyms at ability.
  • n. A specific range of skill, knowledge, or ability.
  • n. Law The quality or condition of being legally qualified to perform an act.
  • n. Sufficient means for a comfortable existence.
  • n. Microbiology The ability of bacteria to be genetically transformable.
  • n. Medicine The ability to respond immunologically to bacteria, viruses, or other antigenic agents.
  • n. Linguistics The knowledge that enables one to produce and comprehend a language.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The quality or state of being competent, i.e. able or suitable for a general role.
  • n. The quality or state of being able or suitable for a particular task; the quality or state of being competent for a particular task.
  • n. A sustainable income.
  • n. In law, the legal authority to deal with a matter.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The state of being competent; fitness; ability; adequacy; power.
  • n. Property or means sufficient for the necessaries and conveniences of life; sufficiency without excess.
  • n.
  • n. Legal capacity or qualifications; fitness.
  • n. Right or authority; legal power or capacity to take cognizance of a cause.
  • n. the quality of being adequately or well qualified physically and intellectually, especially possession of the skill and knowledge required (for a task).

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The state of being competent; fitness; suitableness; adequateness: as, there is no doubt of his competence for the task.
  • n. Adequate authority or qualification; range of capacity or ability; the sphere of action or judgment within which one is competent.
  • n. In the law of evidence: Legal capacity or fitness to be heard in court, as distinguished from credibility or sufficiency, because the question whether the evidence shall be heard is usually determined before considering its weight.
  • n. Legal right or authority; power or capacity to take cognizance of a cause: as, the competency of a judge or court to examine and decide.
  • n. Sufficiency; such a quantity as is sufficient; especially, property, means of subsistence, or income sufficient to furnish the necessaries and conveniences of life, without superfluity.
  • n. In physical geography, the ability of a stream to transport the amount of land waste that is brought into it.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the quality of being adequately or well qualified physically and intellectually

Etymologies

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Examples

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