Definition of inept in US English:



  • Having or showing no skill; clumsy.

    ‘the inept handling of the threat’
    • ‘He did not let the army tackle the situation, leaving it to the inept and communal police force.’
    • ‘He has clearly lost the plot and is proving to be both inept and devoid of morality himself.’
    • ‘Apparently she was enraged by the inept actions of the person ahead of her at the drive-in ATM.’
    • ‘He made her feel so silly, so inadequate, so inept at being his secretary.’
    • ‘There can be no way back into next Scotland squad after this inept display.’
    • ‘Things are so much easier now I can converse, albeit in a choppy inept way, in Japanese.’
    • ‘He is socially inept, he has no personal life, yet he tries to help damaged minds.’
    • ‘Their years of management were pretty inept and brought about a tenfold increase in water prices.’
    • ‘This is the second year we have been disenfranchised by this inept system and incompetence behind its planning.’
    • ‘And if the inept service doesn't take your breath away, the prices certainly will.’
    • ‘In part, this vote has emerged because of the inept handling of the asylum issue by the Government.’
    • ‘He said the inept attitude of the government has created a chaotic situation in the state.’
    • ‘Consecutive governments have insisted on a completely inept policy of open immigration.’
    • ‘His descriptions are often quite pedestrian and sometimes strangely inept.’
    • ‘Most people couldn't afford, or felt too socially inept, to go and watch plays.’
    • ‘He visits his old office, tries to help out, but feels like he left the work in inept hands.’
    • ‘Now inept council staff and councillors are to waste public money on proposals which do not address the situation.’
    • ‘I cannot understand how such an inept man can be elected head of the world's most powerful country.’
    • ‘If the robbers hadn't been so inept they might have got away with it.’
    • ‘The fault lies clearly, yet again, with inefficient and inept council officers and management.’
    incompetent, unskilful, unskilled, inexpert, amateurish, crude, rough
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Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘not apt, unsuitable’): from Latin ineptus, from in- ‘not’ + aptus (see apt).