Adjective "Incompetent" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


Not having or showing the necessary skills to do something successfully.
  1. 'They were severely lambasted for being so inept and so incompetent.'
  2. 'Not necessarily incompetent, they are opportunists who seize the chance to make lots of money for doing relatively little work.'
  3. 'She would even settle for her incompetent assistants at this point.'
  4. 'The problem is that we have had a succession of absolutely incompetent Ministers of Correction.'
  5. 'This crew appears to be so power-hungry, and so incompetent in carrying out their radical programs, that only disaster will result if they gain a second term.'
  6. 'With the ball in hand they were ambitious and expansive. And clumsy, incompetent and inadequate.'
  7. 'The point is not to say that planners are necessary corrupt or incompetent; but simply that they cannot fail to see things from the point of view of how they, personally, may be affected by their own decisions.'
  8. 'After that date firms would have to prove beyond doubt that older workers were incompetent or incapable of doing their jobs if they wanted to pension them off.'
  9. 'But to go back to work; suddenly, I AM that useless incompetent know-nothing manager whose presence in a position of authority bewilders everyone.'
  10. 'These apologies can be interpreted as excuses for people being incompetent, unqualified, dumb, disorganised, and unreliable.'
  11. 'the patient is deemed legally incompetent'
  12. 'In a letter the procurator fiscal raised no objection to this, but in court the Crown argued, and the sheriff accepted, that the motion was incompetent.'
  13. 'I am horrified that thousands of pounds of taxpayer's money is being spent employing solicitors and barristers who are incompetent.'
  14. 'In the 1940s, incompetent perforator veins were recognized as significant contributors to venous ulcers.'
  15. 'When a valve is incompetent, the heart has to work harder to pump the required amount of blood around the body.'
  16. 'Valves maybe incompetent due to lower leg trauma, deep vein thrombosis, or congenital anomalies.'


An incompetent person.
  1. 'But exemplary and dedicated teachers surrounded by incompetents will soon grow demoralized, and effective teachers will shun under-performing schools.'
  2. 'With his cultured right foot, he dominates the midfield, his integrity and swift moral purpose shading everyone else into the second-rate incompetents they probably know deep down that they are.'
  3. 'History is littered with despots and psychopaths, murderous dullards, evil geniuses, deadly incompetents, calamitous brutes of all descriptions.'


1. not competent; lacking qualification or ability; incapable: an incompetent candidate.

2. characterized by or showing incompetence: His incompetent acting ruined the play.

3. Law. being unable or legally unqualified to perform specified acts or to be held legally responsible for such acts. inadmissible, as evidence. noun

4. an incompetent person; a mentally deficient person.

5. Law. a person lacking power to act with legal effectiveness.

More examples(as adjective)

"valuerses can be incompetent of subjects."

"pilots can be incompetent in weathers."

"people can be incompetent for trials."

"people can be incompetent."

"governments can be incompetent."

More examples++


Late 16th century (in the sense ‘not legally competent’): from French, or from late Latin incompetent-, from in- ‘not’ + Latin competent- ‘being fit or proper’ (see competent).