• WordNet 3.6
    • n incompetence lack of physical or intellectual ability or qualifications
    • n incompetence inability of a part or organ to function properly
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Incompetence (Law) Lack of competency or legal fitness; incapacity; disqualification, as of a person to be heard as a witness, or to act as a juror, or of a judge to try a cause.
    • Incompetence The quality or state of being incompetent; lack of physical, intellectual, or moral ability; lack of qualifications or training (for a particular task); insufficiency; inadequacy; as, the incompetency of a child for hard labor, or of an idiot for intellectual efforts. "Some inherent incompetency ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n incompetence Same as incompetency.
    • ***


  • Laurence J. Peter
    “Man cannot live by incompetence alone.”
  • L. Ron Hubbard
    L. Ron Hubbard
    “The differences between a competent person and an incompetent person are demonstrated in his environment (surroundings).”
  • George Bernard Shaw
    “Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.”
  • Laurence J. Peter
    “Men now monopolize the upper levels depriving women of their rightful share of opportunities for incompetence.”
  • Evelle Younger
    Evelle Younger
    “An incompetent attorney can delay a trial for years or months. A competent attorney can delay one even longer.”
  • Laurence J. Peter
    “In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. F. incompétence,


In literature:

Douglas's quick and proud intelligence was amazed to find his father so weak and so incompetent under misfortune.
"Lady Connie" by Mrs. Humphry Ward
I appeal from the intellect, which is detected as incompetent, to the higher court of the moral consciousness.
"Browning as a Philosophical and Religious Teacher" by Henry Jones
He's the most helpless, incompetent idiot.
"Elizabeth's Campaign" by Mrs. Humphrey Ward
I should be incompetent to grasp so great a theme, if it were needed.
"Continental Monthly, Vol. I. February, 1862, No. II." by Various
The elderly are incompetent judges of new ideas.
"The History of the Fabian Society" by Edward R. Pease
F'r Sicrety iv th' Threasury he has a choice iv three kinds iv proud and incompetent fi-nanceers.
"Mr. Dooley: In the Hearts of His Countrymen" by Finley Peter Dunne
Could anyone have shown himself more helpless, useless, incompetent, than Arthur Delaine since the accident?
"Lady Merton, Colonist" by Mrs. Humphry Ward
There were no direct charges of fraud, but simply of incompetence.
"Evolution Of The Japanese, Social And Psychic" by Sidney L. Gulick
Matilda, the competent, skilled Matilda, was inexplicably incompetent at this function.
"No. 13 Washington Square" by Leroy Scott
Modesty is very frequently nothing more than an evidence of incompetence.
"Poise: How to Attain It" by D. Starke
Michael knew that his only chance of getting out of Germany was to show an unsurpassable incompetence.
"The Tree of Heaven" by May Sinclair
I cannot discover any evidence of incompetence in Chinese railway administration.
"The Problem of China" by Bertrand Russell
Of these and of a multitude of similar effects the Emission Theory is incompetent to offer any satisfactory explanation.
"Six Lectures on Light" by John Tyndall
The Theban generals invaded Thessaly, but through incompetence or misfortune effected nothing, and had to retreat in disgrace.
"Plutarch's Lives, Volume II" by Aubrey Stewart & George Long
Unskilled and incompetent labor must take what is given: skilled and competent labor will eventually make its own standard.
"New Tabernacle Sermons" by Thomas De Witt Talmage
Till then, you incompetent sausage, you can enjoy your Lager and pipe in peace!
"Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 101, December 12, 1891" by Various
He found himself, in all his weakness, face to face with a complicated problem with which he was incompetent to grapple.
"Abbe Mouret's Transgression La Faute De L'abbe Mouret" by Emile Zola
My Caddie, or arm-bearer, has his own views about the causes of my incompetence.
"Punch, Or The London Charivari, Volume 102, January 16, 1892" by Various
To have to kill to gain an end is conclusive evidence of incompetency.
"The Cab of the Sleeping Horse" by John Reed Scott
Their vanity is only equal to their incompetency in all matters that count.
"The Tragedy of St. Helena" by Walter Runciman

In news:

Murder suspect found incompetent for trial.
Accused killer One Goh incompetent .
1 psychiatrist says alleged Calif college shooter is incompetent to stand trial.
Shooting spree suspect incompetent for trial.
Officials deem Alexander Kinyua incompetent to stand trial.
Was Mitt Romney's Campaign Delusional or Incompetent .
Woman found incompetent in Vt baby overdose death.
BURLINGTON — A grandmother charged with giving a fatal drug overdose to her infant grandson has been found mentally incompetent to stand trial.
A judge has determined that a Layton man shot and wounded by police is incompetent to stand trial in connection with a March episode of domestic violence that included shooting his live-in girlfriend in the leg.
So California lawmakers are sneaky AND incompetent .
Keeping the 'Mentally Incompetent ' From Voting.
Murder-arson defendant ruled incompetent still in jail.
WH misleading or incompetent .
Lindsey Graham, R-S. Says the administration is either "misleading or they're incredibly incompetent " in their handling of the Benghazi consulate attack.
Libya shows Obama is ' incompetent .

In science:

See Sec. 6.11 for a discussion of the fractional typing used here to determine the number of SNe Ia from the incompetely typed search sample.
Rates and Progenitors of Type Ia Supernovae
He refused from the award, referring to incompetence of people, adjudging a prize to him.
Monistic conception of geometry
By means of agent based simulations, we demonstrated that random promotion strategies could stop the diffusion of incompetence in hierarchical groups, obtaining also an increase in the global efficiency of the organization under study.
The beneficial role of random strategies in social and financial systems
Even if it sounds paradoxical, according to Peter such a perverse effect surely occurs whenever promoted people do change their task passing from the previous to the next level: in this way, incompetence will inevitably spread at the top of the organization, endangering its proper functioning.
The beneficial role of random strategies in social and financial systems
The main results found after averaging over many different realizations of the initial conditions, confirmed the risk of incompetence spreading when the Peter Hypothesis holds.
The beneficial role of random strategies in social and financial systems
If it were granted that the ob jects I listed were not maliciously or incompetently selected, my data alone would establish the alignment trend illustrated in Fig. 1 of , since one requires both a low birefringence and a consistent intrinsic alignment to obtain a small scatter of β (obs) around zero.
Comment on the Measurement of Cosmological Birefringence
As a retired person, publication gives no professional benefit, and it is highly unpleasant to have to deal with incompetent referees and journals which lack scientific integrity.
Comment on Phys. Rev. D 60 084017 "Classical self-force" by F. Rohrlich
This is not through incompetence, since the necessary information is not always available.
QCD and Hadronic Interactions: Summary talk for Moriond 97
We discuss also the difference of the Eulerian and Lagrangian description, pointing out the incompeteness of the first.
On the Hamiltonian Description of Fluid Mechanics