- the quality or condition of being incompetent; lack of ability.
- Law. the condition of lacking power to act with legal effectiveness.
1660s, “inadequacy;” 1716, “want of skill,” from French incompétence (mid-16c.), from in- “not, opposite of, without” (see in- (1)) + compétence (see competence). Native formation incompetency (from incompetent + -cy) is attested from 1610s.
- The quality of being incompetent or incapable of performing a function, as the failure of the cardiac valves to close properly.
- The condition of being not legally qualified, as to stand trial.
- The inability to distinguish right from wrong or to manage one’s affairs.