"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[in-ept, ih-nept] /ɪnˈɛpt, ɪˈnɛpt/
without skill or aptitude for a particular task or assignment; maladroit:
He is inept at mechanical tasks. She is inept at dealing with people.
generally awkward or clumsy; haplessly incompetent.
inappropriate; unsuitable; out of place.
absurd or foolish:
an inept remark.
Origin of inept
1595-1605; < Latin ineptus, equivalent to in- in-3 + -eptus, combining form of aptus apt
Related forms
ineptly, adverb
ineptness, noun
Can be confused
inapt, inept, unapt.
1. unskillful, bungling. 4. stupid, pointless, inane.
1. suited. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ineptness
  • What many people have interpreted as cold-ness is more likely the ineptness at human contact that comes from nerd-bashfulness.
  • In the first trial even the jury foreman pointed to instances of ineptness by the prosecution.
  • As time progresses, the people's trust in the unprecedented ineptness of our current system of government continues to digress.
  • Such lack of foresight is nota sign of unusual managerial ineptness, but seems common infirms that are doing well.
  • Vague directives require deliberation and the ineptness of proxies may actually help confuse as opposed to clarify the issues.
  • There have been widespread public accusations of ineptness, lies, and duplicity.
  • The mayor agonizes over the ignorant ineptness of his fellow peasants but slowly begins to understand who.
British Dictionary definitions for ineptness


awkward, clumsy, or incompetent
not suitable, appropriate, or fitting; out of place
Derived Forms
ineptitude, noun
ineptly, adverb
ineptness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin ineptus, from in-1 + aptus fitting, suitable
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ineptness



c.1600, from Old French inepte (14c.) or directly from Latin ineptus "unsuitable, improper, absurd, awkward, silly, tactless," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + aptus "apt" (see apt). Related: Ineptly; ineptness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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