If you are incompetent, you are not able to complete a task, like if you only ever made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches — you would be incompetent in the kitchen of a fancy French restaurant.

Someone who is not very good at getting a job done is incompetent. An incompetent salesperson can't sell anything. A learned professor may be quite incompetent when it comes to controlling a room full of rowdy pre-schoolers. Legally speaking, you can be declared incompetent if you do not have necessary qualifications, like being certified or licensed to do a certain job, like cut hair or fix cars.

Definitions of incompetent
  1. adjective
    not qualified or suited for a purpose
    “an incompetent secret service”
    “the filming was hopeless incompetent
    feckless, inept
    generally incompetent and ineffectual
    ineffective, inefficient
    lacking the ability or skill to perform effectively; inadequate
    not characteristic of or suitable for a good workman
    not producing desired results; wasteful
    not meeting the proper standards and requirements and training
    not having or showing or requiring special skill or proficiency
    see moresee less
    properly or sufficiently qualified or capable or efficient
    (usually followed by `of') having capacity or ability
    able, capable
    have the skills and qualifications to do things well
    effective, efficient
    able to accomplish a purpose; functioning effectively
    worthy of a good workman
    being effective without wasting time or effort or expense
    meeting the proper standards and requirements and training for an office or position or task
    having or showing or requiring special skill
    show more antonyms...
  2. adjective
    not meeting requirements
    synonyms: incapable, unequal to
    inadequate, unequal
    lacking the requisite qualities or resources to meet a task
  3. adjective
    legally not qualified or sufficient
    incompetent witnesses”
    synonyms: unqualified
    see moresee less
    legally qualified or sufficient
  4. adjective
    showing lack of skill or aptitude
    synonyms: bungling, clumsy, fumbling
    not having or showing or requiring special skill or proficiency
  5. adjective
    not doing a good job
    incompetent at chess”
    synonyms: unskilled
    having undesirable or negative qualities
  6. noun
    someone who is not competent to take effective action
    synonyms: incompetent person
    see moresee less
    blunderer, botcher, bumbler, bungler, butcher, fumbler, sad sack, stumbler
    someone who makes mistakes because of incompetence
    an incompetent person; usually used in negative constructions
    type of:
    unskilled person
    a person who lacks technical training
Word Family