AskDefine | Define incompetence

Dictionary Definition



1 lack of physical or intellectual ability or qualifications [syn: incompetency] [ant: competence]
2 inability of a part or organ to function properly

User Contributed Dictionary



inability to perform


  • 1851: Herman Melville, Moby-Dick
    ... at the head of a crew, too, chiefly made up of mongrel renegades, and castaways, and cannibals--morally enfeebled also, by the incompetence of mere unaided virtue or right-mindedness in Starbuck
  • 1949: George Orwell, 1984
    Winston did not know why Withers had been disgraced. Perhaps it was for corruption or incompetence. Perhaps Big Brother was merely getting rid of a too-popular subordinate.
  • 1974: Ursula Leguin, The Dispossessed
    The factory where she worked was a poisonous mass of incompetence, favoritism, and sabotage.

Related terms

Extensive Definition

Incompetence is the inability to perform; lack of Competence; ineptitude.


See also

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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