AskDefine | Define competency

Dictionary Definition

competency n : the quality of being adequately or well qualified physically and intellectually [syn: competence] [ant: incompetence]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. The ability to perform some task.
  2. Meeting specified qualifications to perform.
  3. Implicite knowledge of a language's structure.


  • "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...." - Bill Clinton, My Life, 2004


ability to perform some task
law: meeting specified qualifications to perform
linguistics: implicite knowledge of a language's structure

Extensive Definition

Competence is the ability to perform some task. Incompetence is its opposite.
  • Competence (biology), the ability of a cell to take up DNA
  • Competence (human resources), a standardized requirement for an individual to properly perform a specific job
  • Competence (law), the mental capacity of an individual to participate in legal proceedings
  • Jurisdiction, the authority of a legal body to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and, by implication, to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility
  • Linguistic competence, the ability to speak and understand language in a grammatically correct manner
competency in Czech: Kompetence (rozcestník)
competency in German: Kompetenz
competency in Spanish: Competencia
competency in Galician: Competencia
competency in Dutch: Competentie
competency in Portuguese: Competência
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