Definition of competent in English:

competent

Line breaks: com|pe¦tent
Pronunciation: /ˈkɒmpɪt(ə)nt
 
/

adjective

  • 1Having the necessary ability, knowledge, or skill to do something successfully: a highly competent surgeon [with infinitive]: make sure the firm is competent to carry out the work
    More example sentences
    • But it may be some time before they do their part to teach young people all the skills necessary to become competent, successful adults.
    • As a result, colleges of agriculture must ensure that graduates are competent in computer skills necessary for success with regard to these trends.
    • Please approach a general surgeon who is competent to do both forms of surgery.
  • 1.1(Of a person) efficient and capable: an infinitely competent mother of three
    More example sentences
    • Use words that show her that she is competent, capable, and talented.
    • For example, there's an ingrained distrust in our society of highly intelligent, highly trained, highly competent persons.
    • Tang and Siew are both talented and competent persons.
    Synonyms
    capable, able, proficient, adept, adroit, accomplished, skilful, skilled, gifted, talented, masterly, virtuoso, expert, knowledgeable, qualified, trained; efficient, good, excellent, brilliant
    informal great, mean, wicked, deadly, nifty, crack, ace, wizard, magic
    North American informal crackerjack
    vulgar slang shit-hot
    archaic or • humorous compleat
    rare habile
  • 1.2Acceptable and satisfactory, though not outstanding: she spoke quite competent French
    More example sentences
    • K - 19: The Widowmaker is a competent, satisfactory submarine movie.
    • We'd been warned about possible poor service, but actually it was competent, if not outstanding.
    • But most were at least competent, some outstanding.
    Synonyms
    adequate, acceptable, satisfactory, reasonable, fair, decent, good enough, sufficiently good, not bad, all right, average, tolerable, passable, moderate, middling; up to scratch, up to the mark, up to par
    informal OK, okay, so-so, fair-to-middling, up to snuff
  • 1.3(Of a court or other body) accepted as having legal authority to deal with a particular matter: the London Stock Exchange is the competent authority under the Financial Services Act
    More example sentences
    • In other words, this is a finding of fact for the competent authority dealing with the case in the first instance and which, for reasons we give hereunder, we should not interfere with.
    • I went to court because the court is the only competent authority to judge whether the allegation holds or not.
    • It is a question of fact and degree in respect of which the court will only interfere with the decision of the competent authority if its conclusion is plainly wrong.
    Synonyms
    fit, fitted, equipped, suitable, suited, appropriate; qualified, empowered, authorized
  • 1.4 Biology & Medicine Capable of performing the normal function effectively.
    More example sentences
    • ‘This work challenges the view that neonates are not immune competent at birth,’ said Dr Griebel.
    • The corrected reticulocyte index should be elevated in patients with an acute anemia but a competent bone marrow.
    • Thirdly, simvastatin inhibits endothelial cell apoptosis and preserves ischaemic vasculature, perhaps maintaining a competent vascular supply to the macula.

Derivatives

competently

adverb
More example sentences
  • How is it possible to do one's job competently or professionally if one doesn't know certain key facts relevant to said job?
  • She still liked to walk rather than drive, but she had her license and was able to drive competently, if not expertly.
  • It also points out that veterinary nurses are barred by law from giving animals injections, even though nurses practise competently on humans.

Origin

late Middle English (in the sense 'suitable, adequate'): from Latin competent-, from the verb competere in its earlier sense 'be fit or proper' (see compete).

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