Definition of incompatible in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪnkəmˈpatɪb(ə)l/


1(Of two things) so different in nature as to be incapable of coexisting: cleverness and femininity were seen as incompatible
More example sentences
  • But if the properties at different times are incompatible, then a contradiction follows.
  • And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names - liberty and tyranny.
  • It is man's nature to suffer from incompatible desires simultaneously - for example, wanting both security and excitement.
irreconcilable, conflicting, opposed, opposite, contradictory, antagonistic, antipathetic;
clashing, inharmonious, discordant;
mutually exclusive
1.1(Of two people) unable to live together harmoniously: although convinced that they were incompatible, she loved him
More example sentences
  • It involved putting incompatible prisoners together in a cell, then betting on when a fight would break out.
  • To even try and understand how two such incompatible people stayed together for so long is something the film tries to explain, and in fact it does very well.
  • Their relationship was short lived, however, as they were clearly incompatible.
unsuited, mismatched, ill-matched, poles apart, worlds apart, like day and night;
British  like chalk and cheese
1.2 (incompatible with) (Of one thing or person) not consistent or able to coexist with (another): long hours are simply incompatible with family life
More example sentences
  • Communism is entirely different and incompatible with the way of life of an overwhelming majority of Britons.
  • This consistent approach would by no means be incompatible with the current system.
  • It cannot co-exist with fairness and justice. It is incompatible with democratic civilization.
inconsistent with, at odds with, out of keeping with, different to, differing from, divergent from, at variance with, incongruous with, inconsonant with, contrary to, in conflict with, in opposition to, diametrically opposed to, counter to, not in accord with, irreconcilable with, not able to be reconciled with, alien to
rare repugnant to, oppugnant to
1.3(Of equipment, computer programs, etc.) not capable of being used in combination: all four prototype camcorders used special tapes and were incompatible with each other
More example sentences
  • Remember also that many disk and other utility programs are incompatible, this is not necessarily a problem as they are largely redundant.
  • More than three years of desert battlefield experience has proven that too much Army Reserve equipment is still incompatible and not interoperable with AC equipment.
  • In addition, there are still compatibility issues among Fibre Channel vendors requiring users to separate incompatible hardware into separate switch zones.



Pronunciation: /ˌɪnkəmˈpatɪbli/
Example sentences
  • The purpose is that those bodies for whose acts the state is answerable before the European Court of Human Rights shall in future be subject to a domestic law obligation not to act incompatibly with Convention rights.
  • Just as the world appears in incompatible ways to different people, it also appears incompatibly to the different senses of one and the same person.
  • They will, therefore, be acting incompatibly with the Convention when they act within those provisions and, therefore, their acts will be unlawful.


Late Middle English: from medieval Latin incompatibilis, from in- 'not' + compatibilis (see compatible).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: in|com¦pat|ible

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