What does competent mean?

Definitions for competent
ˈkɒm pɪ təntcom·pe·tent

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. competentadjective

    properly or sufficiently qualified or capable or efficient

    "a competent typist"

  2. competentadjective

    adequate for the purpose

    "a competent performance"

  3. competentadjective

    legally qualified or sufficient

    "a competent court"; "competent testimony"


  1. competentadjective

    Having sufficient skill, knowledge, ability, or qualifications.

    He is a competent skier and an expert snowboarder.

  2. competentadjective

    Having jurisdiction or authority over a particular issue or question.

  3. competentadjective

    Adequate for the purpose

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. COMPETENTadjective

    Etymology: competens, Latin.

    If there be any power in imagination, the distance must be competent, the medium not adverse, and the body apt and proportionate Francis Bacon, Natural History, №. 950.

    The greatest captain of the English brought rather a guard than a competent army to recover Ireland. John Davies, on Ireland.

    To draw men from great excess, it is not amiss, though we use them unto somewhat less than is competent. Richard Hooker.

    A competent number of the old being first read, the new should succeed. Richard Hooker, b. v. sect. 40.

    The clergy have gained some insight into men and things, and a competent knowledge of the world. Francis Atterbury, Sermons.

    Let us first consider how competent we are for the office. Government of the Tongue, sect. 6.

    That is the privilege of the Infinite Author of things, who never slumbers nor sleeps, but is not competent to any finite being. John Locke.


  1. competent

    Competent refers to having the necessary skills, knowledge, ability, or qualifications to effectively perform a task or job. It can also imply adequacy or satisfactory performance. Competence involves being well-equipped, capable, proficient, and efficient.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Competentadjective

    answering to all requirements; adequate; sufficient; suitable; capable; legally qualified; fit

  2. Competentadjective

    rightfully or properly belonging; incident; -- followed by to

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Competent

    kom′pe-tent, adj. suitable: sufficient: fit: belonging: legally qualified: legitimate.—ns. Com′petence, Com′petency, fitness: capacity: sufficiency: competent circumstances: legal power or capacity.—adv. Com′petently. [Fr.,—L. competĕrecom, with, petĕre, to seek, to strive after.]

Editors Contribution

  1. competent

    Having the accurate and specific ability, experience, knowledge and skills for the role and responsibility.

    She and her husband were so competent at their respective employment.

    Submitted by MaryC on January 25, 2020  

British National Corpus

  1. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'competent' in Adjectives Frequency: #896

How to pronounce competent?

How to say competent in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of competent in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of competent in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of competent in a Sentence

  1. Thea Fischer:

    It is now that the actual field work can begin, and it is my expectation that for this part of the mission we will have unhindered access to the requested destinations and individuals, but it is important to remember that the success of this mission and origin-tracing is 100% depending on access to the relevant sources. No matter how competent we are, how hard we work and how many stones we try to turn, this can only be possible with the support from China.

  2. Adam Smith:

    When I listened to the speech that Navy Secretary Thomas Modly gave -- Navy Secretary Thomas Modly was trying to do a half a -- ed attempt at a speech that Trump would have given, hes trying to figure out what would the narcissist do -- people are trying to figure out how to lead when their example is someone who is not competent orcapable.

  3. Arthur Smith:

    This is a good program. They know what they're looking for. I think this shows they've had a good vision. With [head coach] Sean McDermott, [general manager] Brandon Beane and their staffs, I think this is what you're seeing with competent leadership and consistency year over year what they're drafting for, you know, not dissimilar to what [Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot] and I hope to build here. You have a strategy, you have a philosophy, you have some consistency. There's not a lot of knee-jerk reactions. That's why they got a really good roster and they're really well coached and they know what they're looking for. They know what they're asked to do.

  4. Vanda Felbab-Brown:

    Clearly drugs are a very important aspect of the Taliban's profits, but just like with many other insurgent groups, there is often way too much... mystique afforded to the drug economies. What competent, even moderately competent insurgents and, frankly, criminal groups do, is to simply tax anything in the area, where they have enough influence to be able to enforce the collection of informal taxation.

  5. Donald Trump Trump:

    Otherwise, I wouldn't be where I am. If he didn't feel that women were as competent as men, I would be relegated to some role subordinate to my brothers, i think this is one of his great strengths: He fully prioritizes merit and accomplishment and skill and ability over background, education, and gender.

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"competent." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 17 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/competent>.

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