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

  • adj. Not qualified in legal terms: a defendant who was incompetent to stand trial.
  • adj. Inadequate for or unsuited to a particular purpose or application.
  • adj. Devoid of those qualities requisite for effective conduct or action.
  • n. An incompetent person.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Unskilled, lacking normally expected degree of ability, Northern Victorian Irrigation Renewal Project like see ombudsmans report.
  • adj. Unable to make rational decisions, insane or otherwise cognitively impaired.
  • n. A person who is incompetent.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Not competent; wanting in adequate strength, power, capacity, means, qualifications, or the like; incapable; unable; inadequate; unfit.
  • adj. Wanting the legal or constitutional qualifications; inadmissible
  • adj. Not lying within one's competency, capacity, or authorized power; not permissible.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Not competent; wanting ability or qualification; unable; incapable; inadequate.
  • In law, not competent; not qualified; incapacitated.
  • Synonyms Insufficient, unfit, disqualified.
  • n. An incompetent person; one who is mentally or physically deficient.

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

  • adj. not qualified or suited for a purpose
  • adj. not doing a good job
  • adj. legally not qualified or sufficient
  • n. someone who is not competent to take effective action
  • adj. showing lack of skill or aptitude
  • adj. not meeting requirements


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • SOHIL: (Foreign language spoken) LAWRENCE: Sohil, a 26-year-old student, says the rally is to condemn the American killing of civilians, as well as the U.S. support for what he calls the incompetent government of President Karzai.

    Free From Guantanamo, He Seeks Afghan Office

  • This is in China, where they're having a problem with what they call incompetent drivers.

    CNN Transcript Jan 27, 2007

  • AZASM vice-president Donald Mankga said his organisation was identifying schools employing what it termed incompetent white teachers, and said these teachers would be removed.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • Sohil, a 26-year-old student, says the rally sought to condemn the American killing of civilians and the U.S. support for what he calls the incompetent Karzai government.

    NPR Topics: News

  • Trump blames the problems on what he calls incompetent state bureaucrats and laments that had he been allowed to proceed, the facility would have been open by now.

    The Seattle Times

  • Thousands of car drivers in the Ukrainian capital angrily blew their horns for several minutes Monday, protesting what they call incompetent and corrupt government policies that led to a devastating financial crisis.


  • Honesty had been the single trait most closely associated with Bush, but in the current survey "incompetent" is the descriptor used most frequently.

    March 2006

  • And a big part of calling them stupid or incompetent is to get them to be more rigorous next time round, and it works because no honest scientist wants to be seen as lacking rigor.

    steve | Serendipity

  • The (false) idea that teens are inherently irresponsible and incompetent is pushed by many powerful forces in America, most recently by people quite fraudently claiming that teen turmoil is the inevitable result of a "teen brain" (see my new article, "The Myth of the Teen Brain," in Scientific American Mind).

    Abolish High School?, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • It's ok if a doctor kills you ... being incompetent is how us republicans do things .

    CNN Truth Squad: No eye care until you're blind in one eye?


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  • General Chang claimed Bones was this when he couldn't save Chancellor Gorkon.

    August 19, 2012

  • JM heard about an incompetent ship captain who grounds the warship he walks on.

    August 26, 2011