• WordNet 3.6
    • adj incompetent not meeting requirements "unequal to the demands put upon him"
    • adj incompetent not qualified or suited for a purpose "an incompetent secret service","the filming was hopeless incompetent"
    • adj incompetent legally not qualified or sufficient "a wife is usually considered unqualified to testify against her husband","incompetent witnesses"
    • adj incompetent not doing a good job "incompetent at chess"
    • adj incompetent showing lack of skill or aptitude "a bungling workman","did a clumsy job","his fumbling attempt to put up a shelf"
    • n incompetent someone who is not competent to take effective action
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Incompetent Not competent; wanting in adequate strength, power, capacity, means, qualifications, or the like; incapable; unable; inadequate; unfit. "Incompetent to perform the duties of the place."
    • Incompetent Not lying within one's competency, capacity, or authorized power; not permissible.
    • Incompetent (Law) Wanting the legal or constitutional qualifications; inadmissible; as, a person professedly wanting in religious belief is an incompetent witness in a court of law or equity; incompetent evidence; a mentally defective person is incompetent to care for himself and requires a legal guardian. "Richard III. had a resolution, out of hatred to his brethren, to disable their issues, upon false and incompetent pretexts, the one of attainder, the other of illegitimation."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • incompetent Not competent; wanting ability or qualification; unable; incapable; inadequate.
    • incompetent In law, not competent; not qualified; incapacitated. In the law of evidence incompetent is most appropriately used of evidence not fit for the purpose for which it is offered. Irrelevant indicates that kind of incompetence which results from having no just bearing on the subject. Inadmissible indicates that form of incompetence which results from there being no suitable allegation in the pleading to justify admission. See incapacity, 2.
    • incompetent Synonyms Insufficient, unfit, disqualified.
    • n incompetent An incompetent person; one who is mentally or physically deficient.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Incompetent in-kom′pe-tent wanting adequate powers: wanting the proper legal qualifications: insufficient
    • ***


  • 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
L. incompetens,: cf. F. incompétent,. See In- not, and Competent


In literature:

Persons who have been rendered infamous by their conviction of great crimes, are deemed incompetent to give evidence.
"The Principles of Masonic Law" by Albert G. Mackey
They really act as overseers, and can remove lazy and incompetent employees.
"What eight million women want" by Rheta Childe Dorr
Arrest and report followed immediately on detection, and if the cure was rude, the plague of incompetency was radically dealt with.
"Stonewall Jackson And The American Civil War" by G. F. R. Henderson
You may get your share of it, but you have got to begin by shoving some incompetent fellow out.
"Mr. Scarborough's Family" by Anthony Trollope
It was a case of moral cowardice rather than incompetency.
"The Story of My Life" by Ellen Terry
But the same giddy whirl of thoughts came back, the same incompetency to deal with such strange facts, and the same confusion.
"Richard Vandermarck" by Miriam Coles Harris
To these purposes the powers of the General Government are believed to be utterly incompetent.
"A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents: Polk" by Compiled by James D. Richardson
I'm not the sort of boy to chuck civility away on an incompetent man.
"A Master of Fortune" by Cutcliffe Hyne
But most often he was discharged for his incompetence.
"Analyzing Character" by Katherine M. H. Blackford and Arthur Newcomb
Trent, Captain, his incompetence in dealing with Indians and French, i.
"George Washington, Vol. I" by Henry Cabot Lodge

In news:

Technically, Pierce a victim of incompetence on Sunday.
Incompetence Won't Be Tolerated.
Unable to communicate with an unresponsive Haynes, defense counsel is seeking to have the defendant declared mentally incompetent , a move that has caused widespread outrage in communities across the state.
Israel's Foreign Relations: Incompetence , Stupidity, or Chaos.
It's the incompetence , stupid.
Crisis, Corruptions and Incompetence PDF Print E-mail.
Time to Recall Elected Incompetence .
Incompetence , ineptitude or failure.
Incompetence by the numbers.
Their recent study, "Unskilled and Unaware of It," reveals that few people have any idea how incompetent they really are.
Sun Tzu wrote in "The Art of War," "Even though you are competent, appear to be incompetent ".
Once again, you know, either the administration is showing incredible incompetence or they're distorting the truth to the American people, and either one is horrible.
Bath Salt Suspect Accused of Killing Goat Found Incompetent .
The 19-year-old District man charged with a series of April hammer attacks remains incompetent for trial, doctors at St Elizabeths Hospital wrote in a Thursday letter to a District judge.
These issues go away if the executive realizes his or her relative incompetence .

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