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See also: compétent and compètent



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