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Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does incompetence mean? 

  The noun INCOMPETENCE has 2 senses:

1. lack of physical or intellectual ability or qualifications
2. inability of a part or organ to function properly

  Familiarity information: INCOMPETENCE used as a noun is rare.

 Dictionary entry details 


Sense 1incompetence [BACK TO TOP]


Lack of physical or intellectual ability or qualifications

Classified under:

Nouns denoting attributes of people and objects


incompetence; incompetency

Hypernyms ("incompetence" is a kind of...):

inability; unfitness (lacking the power to perform)


competence (the quality of being adequately or well qualified physically and intellectually)

Sense 2incompetence [BACK TO TOP]


Inability of a part or organ to function properly

Classified under:

Nouns denoting stable states of affairs

Hypernyms ("incompetence" is a kind of...):

disease (an impairment of health or a condition of abnormal functioning)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "incompetence"):

hypogonadism (incompetence of the gonads (especially in the male with low testosterone); results in deficient development of secondary sex characteristics and (in prepubertal males) a body with long legs and a short trunk)

valvular incompetence (inability of a bodily valve to close completely)

 Learn English with... Proverbs of the week 
"You can't teach an old dog new tricks." (English proverb)

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"Think of the going out before you enter." (Arabic proverb)

"As there is Easter, so there are meager times." (Corsican proverb)

 INCOMPETENCE: related words searches 

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