9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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 inept
  • Running out of tea would have been inexcusably inept.
  • Disappointing because it reinforces the notion that scientists are socially inept and unconsciously repressed types.
  • When applied to the so-called general skills, however, they are inept.
  • It has however generally been used much more to protect inept and lazy faculty.
  • Pandering in the extreme, and inept, inaccurate stereotyped pandering at that.
  • Don't forget the inept idiot who appointed him in the first place.
  • Baylor's offense looked disjointed and at times downright inept.
  • And as any snack-loving dieter can attest, people can be comically inept at predicting their future behavior.
  • And they are usually comically inept in a way that makes them seem in need of protection.
  • Minority parties always look weak and inept in the penalty box.
British Dictionary definitions for inept


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 inept

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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