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From French compétence.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈkɒm.pə.tə
    • (file)
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈkɑm.pə.tə


competency (countable and uncountable, plural competencies)

  1. (obsolete) A sufficient supply (of).
    • 1612, John Smith, Proceedings of the English Colonie in Virginia, Kupperman, published 1988, page 178:
      the next day they returned unsuspected, leaving their confederates to follow, and in the interim, to convay them a competencie of all things they could []
    • 1892, Ambrose Bierce, Tales of Soldiers and Civilians - A Holy Terror:
      [] it would appear that before taking this precaution Mr. Bree must have had the thrift to remove a modest competency of the gold []
  2. (obsolete) A sustainable income.
  3. The ability to perform some task; competence.
    • 1795–1797, Edmund Burke, “(please specify |letter=1 to 4)”, in [Letters on a Regicide Peace], London: [Rivington]:
      The loan demonstrates, in regard to instrumental resources, the competency of this kingdom to the assertion of the common cause.
    • 1961, National Council for Elementary Science (U.S.), Science Education:
      What professional competencies do science teachers need?
    • 2004, Bill Clinton, My Life:
      By the year 2000, American students will leave grades four, eight, and twelve having demonstrated competency in challenging subject matter including English, mathematics, science, history, and geography....
    • 2021 May 19, Richard Clinnick, “Fleet News: LNER to return Class 91s/Mk 4s to East Coast duties”, in Rail, number 931, page 26:
      The decision was then made to return '91s' and Mk 4s. These are being retained on the Yorkshire routes to keep driver competency in one area, to help with operations.
  4. (law) Meeting specified qualifications to perform.
  5. (linguistics) Implicit knowledge of a language’s structure.


Derived terms[edit]


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