American Dictionary of the English Language

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1. Sufficiency; such a quantity as is sufficient; property or means of subsistence sufficient to furnish the necessaries and conveniences of life, without superfluity.

Reasons whole pleasure, all the joys of sense,

Lie in three words, health, peace, and competence.

2. Sufficiency, applied to other things than property; but this application is less common.

3. Legal capacity or qualifications; fitness; as the competence of a witness, which consists in his having the qualifications required by law, as age, soundness of mind, impartiality, etc.

4. Right or authority; legal power or capacity to take cognizance of a cause; as the competence of a judge or court to examine and decide.

5. Fitness; adequacy; suitableness; legal sufficiency; as the competency of evidence.