incompetence (uncountable)

  1. Inability to perform; lack of competence; ineptitude.
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby-Dick:
      ... at the head of a crew, too, chiefly made up of mongrel renegades, and castaways, and cannibals--morally enfeebled also, by the incompetence of mere unaided virtue or right-mindedness in Starbuck
    • 1949, George Orwell, 1984:
      Winston did not know why Withers had been disgraced. Perhaps it was for corruption or incompetence. Perhaps Big Brother was merely getting rid of a too-popular subordinate.
    • 1974, Ursula Leguin, The Dispossessed:
      The factory where she worked was a poisonous mass of incompetence, favoritism, and sabotage.
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