What does competence mean?

Definitions for competence
ˈkɒm pɪ tənscom·pe·tence

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word competence.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. competence, competencynoun

    the quality of being adequately or well qualified physically and intellectually


  1. competencenoun

    The quality or state of being competent, i.e. able or suitable for a general role.

  2. competencenoun

    The quality or state of being able or suitable for a particular task; the quality or state of being competent for a particular task.

  3. competencenoun

    A sustainable income.

  4. competencenoun

    In law, the legal authority to deal with a matter.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Competence, Competencynoun

    Etymology: from competent.

    Something of speech is to be indulged to common civility, more to intimacies and endearments, and a competency to those recreative discourses which maintain the chearfulness of society. Government of the Tongue.

    For competence of life I will allow you,
    That lack of means enforce you not to evil. William Shakespeare, Hen. IV.

    It is no mean happiness to be seated in the mean: superfluity comes sooner by white hairs, but competency lives longer. William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice.

    A discreet learned clergyman, with a competency fit for one of his education, may be an entertaining, an useful, and sometimes a necessary companion. Jonathan Swift.

    Reason’s whole pleasure, all the joys of sense,
    Lie in three words, health, peace, and competence. Alexander Pope.


  1. competence

    Competence refers to the ability or skill required to perform a specific task, job, or function successfully. It involves having the necessary knowledge, capabilities, skills, and experience to complete a task effectively and efficiently. Competence is often measured against set standards to determine the proficiency or aptitude of an individual or a team.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Competencenoun

    alt. of Competency


  1. Competence

    Competence is the ability of an individual to do a job properly. A competency is a set of defined behaviors that provide a structured guide enabling the identification, evaluation and development of the behaviors in individual employees. The term "competence" first appeared in an article authored by R.W. White in 1959 as a concept for performance motivation. Later, in 1970, Craig C. Lundberg defined the concept in "Planning the Executive Development Program". The term gained traction when in 1973, David McClelland, Ph.D. wrote a seminal paper entitled, "Testing for Competence Rather Than for Intelligence". It has since been popularized by one-time fellow McBer & Company colleague Richard Boyatzis and many others, such as T.F. Gilbert who used the concept in relationship to performance improvement. Its use varies widely, which leads to considerable misunderstanding. Some scholars see "competence" as a combination of knowledge, skills and behavior used to improve performance; or as the state or quality of being adequately or well qualified, having the ability to perform a specific role. For instance, management competency might include systems thinking and emotional intelligence, and skills in influence and negotiation.

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British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'competence' in Nouns Frequency: #2164

How to pronounce competence?

How to say competence in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of competence in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of competence in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of competence in a Sentence

  1. Dieter Schwarz in 2004:

    These freedoms that I currently enjoy will no longer exist to this degree. I am beyond my sell-by date as concerns the extent of my powers and areas of competence.

  2. Raphael Warnock:

    This is not a race about Democrat and Republican. It's not a race of right vs. left. Fundamentally, this is a race, right or wrong, and who's right for Georgia and who's clearly wrong for Georgia, this race is about competence, and it's about character. When it comes to that, the choice could not be more clear between me and Herschel Walker.

  3. Elmar Degenhart:

    Software competence is mission critical for successful car companies but the industry lacks scale in this competence.

  4. Bernd Osterloh:

    The company needs to be able to take decisions quicker, and a smaller management board. Regions need more competence to take decisions.

  5. Geir Brudeli:

    I see this as an incredible honor that Yamaha has decided to acquire this technology that we started to develop here in Norway, knowing the competence, knowledge, and passion of Yamaha it will be exciting to see their future products.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for competence

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • مهارةArabic
  • компетентност, способност, вещина, правомощие, меродавност, умениеBulgarian
  • competènciaCatalan, Valencian
  • Können, Sachkunde, Zuständigkeit, Befähigung, Kompetenz, BefugnisGerman
  • competenciaSpanish
  • kompetenssiFinnish
  • compétenceFrench
  • competenzaItalian
  • āheingaMāori
  • competentie, bekwaamheid, bevoegdheidDutch
  • умение, способность, компетенция, компетентность, правомочиеRussian
  • 權限Chinese

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"competence." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 1 Mar. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/competence>.

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    a consonant produced by stopping the flow of air at some point and suddenly releasing it
    • A. occlusive
    • B. tacky
    • C. elusive
    • D. arbitrary

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