competence (n.)

1590s, "rivalry" (based on compete), also "adequate supply," both senses now obsolete; 1630s as "sufficiency of means for living at ease," from French compétence, from Latin competentia "meeting together, agreement, symmetry," from competens, present participle of competere, especially in its earlier sense of "fall together, come together, be convenient or fitting" (see compete).

Meaning "adequate range of capacity or ability, sufficiency to deal with what is at hand" is from 1790. Legal sense "capability or fitness to be heard in court" is from 1708.

updated on February 09, 2018