Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Lacking or showing a lack of skill or competence; bungling or clumsy.
  • adjective Showing a lack of judgment, sense, or reason; inappropriate or foolish.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Not apt, fit, or suitable; inapt.
  • Inappropriate; out of place; foolish.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Not apt or fit; unfit; unsuitable; improper; unbecoming.
  • adjective Silly; useless; nonsensical; absurd; foolish.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Not able to do something; not proficient; displaying incompetence
  • adjective Unfit; unsuitable

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

  • adjective revealing lack of perceptiveness or judgment or finesse
  • adjective not elegant or graceful in expression
  • adjective generally incompetent and ineffectual

Etymologies

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

[Latin ineptus : in-, not; see in– + aptus, suitable; see apt.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French inepte ("feckless")

Examples

  • I guess "inept" is one way to describe this handling of a national tragedy.

    Allison Kilkenny: But the Air Base Is Safe, Right?

  • My point about blaming the bosses for being inept is proved by the above, because you will not get the backing from them if you deal with incidents like this because the majority are now politicaly correct pen pushers referd to as managers and not police officers.

    Every Cloud « POLICE INSPECTOR BLOG

  • It only hits a reset button of building or rebuilding a fanbase, while ignoring the real crux of the issue--long-term inept franchises will not draw fans in *any* market, whether you're Atlanta, Pittsburgh see pre-Crosby, or Chicago.

    Challenges mount in Atlanta

  • Charlie is forced into running the factory after his father's death, and he is somewhat inept from a business standpoint.

    Kinky Boots

  • "The investigation was called inept and dishonest by the defense, but law enforcement officers in Cary went to great lengths to preserve and analyze all the evidence," Zellinger said.

    The Seattle Times

  • Notice I also used the word inept, as in "poor management".

    Memphis Commercial Appeal Stories

  • That, or the human race orphaned the word inept by limiting the use of the word ept out of existance.

    Everything2 New Writeups

  • That, or the human race orphaned the word inept by limiting the use of the word ept out of existance.

    Everything2 New Writeups

  • And I've got another, too -- 'inept' -- and that's what you are now, Patricia Kendall.

    Miss Pat at School

  • The judicial branch is not typically described as inept, probably because its deliberations are private and the messy give-and-take that precedes opinions is seldom open for analysis.

    Glenn W. Smith: The Dangerous Framing of Congress as an Inept Community

Comments

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  • Interestingly, as far as I can see, "ept" does not exist, although some Wordies have listed it!

    December 21, 2006

  • Unless they all needed the "Emergency Pregnancy Test"?

    December 22, 2006

  • Actually, it makes perfect sense. The word was originally "not apt" or "inapt", but the vowel got assimilated over time.

    December 22, 2006

  • Thanks, seanahan, that's interesting.

    December 24, 2006