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From French compétence.



competency (countable and uncountable, plural competencies)

  1. (obsolete) A sufficient supply (of).
    • 1612, John Smith, Proceedings of the English Colonie in Virginia, in Kupperman 1988, p. 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 []
    • Ambrose Bierce
      [] 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.
    • Shakespeare
      Superfluity comes sooner by white hairs, but competency lives longer.
    • 1915, W.S. Maugham, "Of Human Bondage", chapter 116:
      He had heard people speak contemptuously of money: he wondered if they had ever tried to do without it. He knew that the lack made a man petty, mean, grasping; it distorted his character and caused him to view the world from a vulgar angle; when you had to consider every penny, money became of grotesque importance: you needed a competency to rate it at its proper value.
  3. The ability to perform some task; competence.
    • Burke
      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....
  4. (law) Meeting specified qualifications to perform.
  5. (linguistics) Implicit knowledge of a language’s structure.



The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.