- The definition of incompetent is someone or something not qualified, inadequate or insufficient for a given purpose.
An example of incompetent is a person getting behind the wheel of a manual transmission car, who doesn't know how to drive with a stick shift.
- without adequate ability, knowledge, fitness, etc.; failing to meet requirements; incapable; unskillful
- not legally qualified
- lacking strength and sufficient flexibility to transmit pressure, thus breaking or flowing under stress: said of rock structures
Origin of incompetentFrench incompétent ; from Late Latin incompetens: see in- and amp; competent
- a. Lacking qualities necessary for effective conduct or action: an incompetent manager.b. Inadequate for or unsuited to a particular purpose or application: “Because so many diseases fluctuate randomly over time, patients sometimes spontaneously improve despite incompetent treatment” (Richard A. Friedman).c. Not functioning properly in the body: an incompetent heart valve.
- Law a. Not legally qualified, as testimony that does not meet the standards for admissibility or a juror whose personal interest in the outcome of the case does not allow him or her to serve.b. Lacking sufficient mental ability or awareness: a defendant incompetent to stand trial.
- 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.
- 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.
The form incompetent of, as in "I am incompetent of doing anything!" is heard (US). It is incorrect, the intended word is incapable.
- A person who is incompetent.
From French incompétent
incompetent - Legal Definition
- Of evidence, that it is not admissible.
- Of a witness, that he or she is not permitted to testify, on the grounds that his or her testimony is not relevant or is subject to some other disqualification.