Pronunciation: (kom'pi-tuns), [key]
1. the quality of being competent; adequacy; possession of required skill, knowledge, qualification, or capacity: He hired her because of her competence as an accountant.
2. sufficiency; a sufficient quantity.
3. an income sufficient to furnish the necessities and modest comforts of life.
4. Law.(of a witness, a party to a contract, etc.) legal capacity or qualification based on the meeting of certain minimum requirements of age, soundness of mind, citizenship, or the like.
5. Embryol.the sum total of possible developmental responses of any group of blastemic cells under varied external conditions.
6. Ling.the implicit, internalized knowledge of a language that a speaker possesses and that enables the speaker to produce and understand the language. Cf. performance (def. 8).
7. Immunol.immunocompetence.
8. Geol.the ability of a fluid medium, as a stream or the wind, to move and carry particulate matter, measured by the size or weight of the largest particle that can be transported.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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