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See also: compétent



From Middle English competent, from Old French competent, from Latin competens, present participle of competō (coincide, meet, agree). Compare Dutch competent (competent), German kompetent (competent), Danish kompetent (competent).



competent (comparative more competent, superlative most competent)

  1. Having sufficient skill, knowledge, ability, or qualifications.
    He is a competent skier and an expert snowboarder.
  2. (law) Having jurisdiction or authority over a particular issue or question.
    For any disagreements arising from this contract, the competent court shall be the Springfield Circuit Court.
    judicial authority having competent jurisdiction
  3. Adequate for the purpose
    • 1662, Henry More, An Antidote Against Atheism, Book II, A Collection of Several Philosophical Writings of Dr. Henry More, p. 67:
      "For if [birds] had been Viviparous, the burthen of their womb, if they had brought forth any competent number at a time, had been so big and heavy, that their wings would have failed them [] "


  • "I believe in that myself because it has been explained by competent men as the convolutions of the grey matter." - James Joyce, Ulysses, 1922
  • "That as a competent keyless citizen he had proceeded energetically from the unknown to the known through the incertitude of the void." - James Joyce, Ulysses, 1922

Related terms[edit]





  1. third-person plural future active indicative of competō