If you have competence, you're qualified or well prepared to do something. A driving test will show if you have competence behind the wheel.

If your dad discovers a new dent in his car each time you've borrowed it, don't be surprised if he questions your competence as a driver. The words competence and competency are sometimes used interchangeably, although competence is better when describing the quality of being well qualified. Competency is more appropriate in a legal sense, referring to the ability of a person to make decisions or stand trial.

Definitions of competence

n the quality of being adequately or well qualified physically and intellectually

incompetence, incompetency
lack of physical or intellectual ability or qualifications
the quality of being qualified
linguistic competence
(linguistics) a speaker's implicit, internalized knowledge of the rules of their language (contrasted with linguistic performance)
the quality of having great facility and competence
Type of:
the quality of being able to perform; a quality that permits or facilitates achievement or accomplishment

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