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Inept   Listen
adjective
Inept  adj.  
1.
Not apt or fit; unfit; unsuitable; improper; unbecoming. "The Aristotelian philosophy is inept for new discoveries."
2.
Silly; useless; nonsensical; absurd; foolish. "To view attention as a special act of intelligence, and to distinguish it from consciousness, is utterly inept."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Inept" Quotes from Famous Books



... renouncements unto perfectness. Nay, and no jot of time, at any time, Rests any actionless; his nature's law Compels him, even unwilling, into act; [For thought is act in fancy]. He who sits Suppressing all the instruments of flesh, Yet in his idle heart thinking on them, Plays the inept and guilty hypocrite: But he who, with strong body serving mind, Gives up his mortal powers to worthy work, Not seeking gain, Arjuna! such an one Is honourable. Do thine allotted task! Work is more excellent than idleness; The body's life proceeds ...
— The Bhagavad-Gita • Sir Edwin Arnold

... stood for nothing individual, for nothing of peculiar value, for no specific group of ideas or scheme of policy. The announcement that a candidate's platform consists of his oath of office doubtless has a full persuasive sound to many Americans; but it was none the less on Mr. Jerome's part an inept and meaningless performance. He was bidding for support merely on the ground that he was an honest man who proposed to keep his word; but honesty and good faith are qualities which the public have a right to take for granted in their officials, ...
— The Promise Of American Life • Herbert David Croly

... of the world, Michael, you utter opinions that are singularly inept. I think you were driving just now at the accepted theory of royal alliances? If it holds good for Alec, it affects you, his father. You didn't marry a Princess, but happily secured a good, honest American lady, sufficiently endowed with good, honest American dollars to keep you in luxury throughout ...
— A Son of the Immortals • Louis Tracy

... have sketched for you. It is not the view which you will find on the postcards illustrating this particular spot and calling it "Venice on the Vltava." In this the Pragers fall into the snobbish habit of going outside their own country for the sake of finding some inept comparison. I grant that they are not the only sinners in this respect; we may even have a "Venice in London," according to those who label the views on postcards, for all I know. I have, on postcards, met "Venice in Whatsisname" and elsewhere, wherever there was sufficient sluggish ...
— From a Terrace in Prague • Lieut.-Col. B. Granville Baker

... that I and my companions, in spite of appearances, are no seamen. You are to understand that by this disclaimer I cast no reflection upon even the humblest toiler of the deep. Nay, while myself inept either to trim the sail or net the finny tribes, I respect those hardy callings—no man more so. Only I claim that my own profession exempts me from this respectable but un-congenial service; and that in short, sir, by forcibly trepanning me, you have rendered yourself liable to swingeing ...
— The Mayor of Troy • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... if it is not feared, it deserves well to be loved. A King worthy to command it, who governs sagely, and acquires for himself the esteem of all Europe,—[there, won't that do!] may restore its ancient splendor, which the Broglios, and so many others even more inept, have a little eclipsed. That is assuredly a work worthy of a Prince endowed with such gifts! To reverse the sad posture of affairs, nobly repairing what others have spoiled; to defend his country against ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XIV. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... them: 'Welcome, Heralds sage! And if from God I welcome you the more, Since great is God, and therefore great His gifts: God grant He send them daily, heaped and huge! Speak without fear, for him alone I hate Who brings ill news, or makes inept demand Unmeet for Kings. I know that Cross ye bear; And in my palace sits a Christian wife, Bertha, the sweetest lady in this land; Most gracious in her ways, in heart most leal. I knew her yet a child: she knelt whene'er The Queen, her mother, entered: then I said, A maid so reverent ...
— Legends of the Saxon Saints • Aubrey de Vere

... school of the dance, Lanyard was unversed in that graceless scamper which to-day passes as the waltz with a generation largely too indolent or too inept of foot ...
— The False Faces • Vance, Louis Joseph

... excellence in public works, by reason of the fame that comes from these, it is certain that neither they nor their ministers would be so negligent; for the reason that he who encumbers himself with poor and inept craftsmen ensures but a short life to his works or his fame, not to mention that injury is done to the public interest and to the age in which he was born, for it is firmly believed by all who come after, that, if there had been better masters to be found in that age, the Prince would have ...
— Lives of the Most Eminent Painters Sculptors and Architects - Vol. 3 (of 10), Filarete and Simone to Mantegna • Giorgio Vasari

... conclusion is unbounded. They have no use for these lofty exercises which they look upon as a sort of purely masculine game—game meaning a respectable occupation devised to kill time in this man-arranged life which must be got through somehow. What women's acuteness really respects are the inept "ideas" and the sheeplike impulses by which our actions and opinions are determined in matters of real importance. For if women are not rational they are indeed acute. Even Mrs. Fyne was acute. The good woman was making up to her husband's chess-player simply because ...
— Chance • Joseph Conrad

... upon proper names are, pace Gregory the Great and Shakespeare, usually very inept and stupid; but the following lines by James Smith, which may be new to some of my readers, are ...
— The Romance of Names • Ernest Weekley

... puffed up with pride by notions not a tithe as excellent and practicable. But Charlie babbled on serenely, interrupting the current of pure fancy with samples of horrible sentences that he purposed to use. I heard him out to the end. It would be folly to allow his idea to remain in his own inept hands, when I could do so much with it. Not all that could be done indeed; ...
— Indian Tales • Rudyard Kipling

... musician, and Demonax the philosopher, by arguments no ways impertinent, and reasons not to be disputed, I will prove, in the teeth of a parcel of brokers and retailers of ancient rhapsodies and such mouldy trash, that our vulgar tongue is not so mean, silly, inept, poor, barren, and contemptible as they pretend. Nor ought I to be afraid of I know not what botchers of old threadbare stuff, a hundred and a hundred times clouted up and pieced together; wretched bunglers that can do nothing but new-vamp old rusty saws; beggarly scavengers ...
— Gargantua and Pantagruel, Complete. • Francois Rabelais

... as themselves, and go to pieces with as much splendor as their neighbors. Remember that the men who stocked California in the fifties were physically, and, as far as regards certain tough virtues, the pick of the earth. The inept and the weakly died en route, or went under in the days of construction. To this nucleus were added all the races of the Continent—French, Italian, German, and, of course, ...
— American Notes • Rudyard Kipling

... counterfeit and to imitate her, should be owed, in my belief, to Giotto, painter of Florence, for the reason that, after the methods of good paintings and their outlines had lain buried for so many years under the ruins of the wars, he alone, although born among inept craftsmen, by the gift of God revived that art, which had come to a grievous pass, and brought it to such a form as could be called good. And truly it was a very great miracle that that age, gross and inept, should have had strength to work in Giotto in a fashion ...
— Lives of the Most Eminent Painters Sculptors and Architects - Volume 1, Cimabue to Agnolo Gaddi • Giorgio Vasari

... pleasure," exclaimed the doctor, confusing himself by an inept attempt at gallantry. "He shall stay as long as you please. But"—here the doctor became grave again—"you cannot too strongly urge upon him the importance of hard work at the present time, which may be said to be the turning-point of his career as a student. He is now nearly seventeen; ...
— Cashel Byron's Profession • George Bernard Shaw

... fruit thereof grow audible, Holding as hapless his dream of good guardianship, Jestingly, earnestly, shouting it serviceless, Tardy, inept, ...
— The Dynasts - An Epic-Drama Of The War With Napoleon, In Three Parts, - Nineteen Acts, And One Hundred And Thirty Scenes • Thomas Hardy

... inept," replied Fa Fai. "The buildings in question undoubtedly exist at the indicated position. If, therefore, the actuality is to be maintained, it is necessary either to raise their stature or to cut down the trees obscuring them. To this gentle-minded person the former alternative seemed ...
— Kai Lung's Golden Hours • Ernest Bramah

... rather animal atmosphere oppressed him terribly, though it interested him: for he knew nothing like it. He was at sea in the conversations of the two little beasts, who talked of dress, and made silly jokes, and laughed in an inept way with their eyes shining with delight when they were off on the track of some spicy story. He was more at ease when Myrrha left them. When the two women were together it was like being in a foreign country without knowing the language. It was ...
— Jean-Christophe, Vol. I • Romain Rolland

... it may be worth their while to provide Each KENNEDY BELL with stepping-stones To rise to the height of a KENNEDY JONES. But others, a small and dwindling crew, Possibly fit, but certainly few, And cursed with a most pronounced capacity For suffering from inept vivacity, Would gladly be reckoned as unenlightened Could they keep one class ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158, January 21st, 1920 • Various

... trouvere or jogleor, who sang, was a "viel caitif" when the Chartres glass was set up, and the Charlemagne window designed, about 1210, or perhaps a little later. When one is not a professor, one has not the right to make inept guesses, and, when one is not a critic, one should not risk confusing a difficult question by baseless assumptions; but even a summer tourist may without offence visit his churches in the order that suits him best; and, for our tour, "Aucassins" follows Christian ...
— Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres • Henry Adams

... not without astonishment: On what ground shall one, that can make Iron swim, come and declare that therefore he can teach Religion? To us, truly, of the Nineteenth Century, such declaration were inept enough; which nevertheless to our fathers, of the First Century, was ...
— Sartor Resartus - The Life and Opinions of Herr Teufelsdrockh • Thomas Carlyle

... competition-grotto and slightly giddy, from the tobacco-smoke. And here, leaning against the door-post, stood the coachman who had divined my whereabouts by some dark masonic intuition of sympathy. His face expanded into an inept smile, and I quickly saw that instead of fortifying his constitution with sound food, he had tried alcoholic methods of defence against the inclement weather. Just a glass of wine, he explained. "But," he added, "the horse is ...
— Old Calabria • Norman Douglas

... He had studied philosophy at Christiania, and since then, won to the ideas of Schopenhauer and Hartmann, he had found existence dreary, inept, chaotic. On the verge of suicide he shut his books, at the entreaty of his parents, and started to travel, striking everywhere against the same distress, the gloomy wretchedness of this life. Tartarin and his friends, he said, seemed ...
— Tartarin On The Alps • Alphonse Daudet

... she had before believed of importance, now seemed trivial and inept. She wondered how she could have been blinded for so long. She bitterly reproached herself for her high-flown scruples, which now savoured of unwholesome affectation; but for these, she might not only have been a happy ...
— Sparrows - The Story of an Unprotected Girl • Horace W. C. Newte

... discussion of the war—or rather Leonard, for with her Leonard seemed to be the war. She made some remark deliciously inept—I wish I could remember it. I made a sly rejoinder. She sat bolt upright and a flush came into her Dresden-china cheek and ...
— The Red Planet • William J. Locke

... less said the better. He is not viewed with any sympathy or commiseration, but as something almost lower in the scale of humanity. Take the literature that deals with school life, for instance. I do not think that there is any province of our literature so inept, so conventional, so entirely lacking in reality, as the books which deal with the life of schools. The difficulty of writing them is very great, because they can only be reconstructed by an effort of memory. The boy himself is quite unable to give expression to his thoughts ...
— Where No Fear Was - A Book About Fear • Arthur Christopher Benson

... strength of a young man. I have the insolence of the old man and the reserve of a boy.—My dear fellow, society only laughs at such a desperate conjugal predicament. Where it pities a lover, it regards a husband as ridiculously inept; it makes sport of those who cannot keep the woman they have secured under the canopy of the Church, and before the Maire's scarf of office. And I had to ...
— Honorine • Honore de Balzac

... Edinburgh Review there is a disquisition on "Ugliness in Fiction." Probably the author of it has read "Liza of Lambeth," and said Faugh! The article, peculiarly inept, is one of those outpourings which every generation of artists has to suffer with what tranquillity it can. According to the Reviewer, ugliness is specially rife "just now." It is always "just now." It was "just now" when George Eliot wrote "Adam Bede," when George ...
— Books and Persons - Being Comments on a Past Epoch 1908-1911 • Arnold Bennett

... enterprise. He put in a goodly sum of money that never came back to him; and if he cooeperated but indifferently, or worse, he was not more inept than some of his associates. He was displeased to learn that the McComases had given enough to the guarantee-fund to insure them a box. And it offended him that, on the opening night, his former wife, one of a large and assertive party, should make her voice heard ...
— On the Stairs • Henry B. Fuller

... those of the philosophers, will this very day compel me to add a somewhat curious problem to those you have stated. I am wondering what the result will be when two 'lucks'—in other words, two unconsciousnesses, of which one is adroit and fortunate, the other inept and bungling—meet and in some measure blend in the same venture, the same undertaking? Which will triumph over the other? I soon shall know. This afternoon I propose to take a step that will be of supreme importance to the person I value above all others in this world. ...
— The Buried Temple • Maurice Maeterlinck

... indeed, long past the time when the professional politicians were treated as revered beings of whom an inept ritual description had to be given. But the substitute has only been a putting of them into the limelight in another and more grotesque fashion, far less ...
— The Free Press • Hilaire Belloc

... pictures which it stole, the miserable high-flown lies which it told, might not be doing Italy a great service in accustoming it to modern institutions, in training it to warfare, in ridding it of a brood of inept little tyrants: such questions did not occur to Alfieri, for whom liberty meant everything, progress and improvement nothing. As the century drew to a close, and the futility of so many vaunted reforms, the hollowness of so many promises, became apparent ...
— The Countess of Albany • Violet Paget (AKA Vernon Lee)

... Respiration, the Breath of Life! By Chaos! By the Air! I have never seen a man so gross, so inept, so stupid, so forgetful. All the little quibbles, which I teach him, he forgets even before he has learnt them. Yet I will not give it up, I will make him come out here into the open air. Where are you, Strepsiades? Come, bring your ...
— The Eleven Comedies - Vol. I • Aristophanes et al

... accompaniment only of sin and damnable blasphemy! In comparison with this insanity, Bucer, impudent fellow that he is, will appear modest, for he (on Matth. xxvi.), by an explanation very preposterous, or rather, an inept and stupid tautology, takes hell in the creed to mean the tomb. Of the Anglican sectaries, some are wont to adhere to their idol, Calvin, others to their great master, Bucer; some also murmur in an undertone against this article, wishing that it may be quietly removed altogether ...
— Ten Reasons Proposed to His Adversaries for Disputation in the Name • Edmund Campion

... over which I travelled on my large mission field, "Indian trails;" but the name at times would be found to be inept, as often, for scores of miles, there was not the least vestige of a track or path. This was because there was so little travel in summer of a character that would make a well defined trail, for during that season the Indians preferred to avail themselves ...
— On the Indian Trail - Stories of Missionary Work among Cree and Salteaux Indians • Egerton Ryerson Young

... memories of the world's own childhood. He brought with him the book that was his evening's choice—Grimm, or Andersen, or AEsop. Already he knew by heart a score of little poems, or passages of verse, which Rolfe, disregarding the inept volumes known as children's anthologies, chose with utmost care from his favourite singers, and repeated till they were learnt. Stories from the Odyssey had come in of late; but Polyphemus was a doubtful ...
— The Whirlpool • George Gissing

... not so disorder'd, but that still Upon their top the feather'd quiristers Applied their wonted art, and with full joy Welcom'd those hours of prime, and warbled shrill Amid the leaves, that to their jocund lays inept tenor; even as from branch to branch, Along the piney forests on the shore Of Chiassi, rolls the gath'ring melody, When Eolus hath from his cavern loos'd The dripping south. Already had my steps, Though ...
— The Divine Comedy, Complete - The Vision of Paradise, Purgatory and Hell • Dante Alighieri

... and had paused to allow his meaning to sink in, "sometimes a scepter stays where it is, not because the hand that holds it is strong, but because the outstretched hand is weak or inept. Your hand ...
— The Lighted Match • Charles Neville Buck

... this in mind he read countless authors of different ages and countries, a total of around 50,000 epigrams, from most of which nothing at all was worth excerpting. There is no point in memorializing the names of the bad, except to note in passing that he found hardly anything so inept as the Delitiae, as they call them, of the German poets[5]—in this connection he gives special mention to the book of Lancinus Curtius[6], ...
— An Essay on True and Apparent Beauty in which from Settled Principles is Rendered the Grounds for Choosing and Rejecting Epigrams • Pierre Nicole

... Johnny Simms. Alicia, elaborately ignoring all that was past, told Jamison that Babs and Cochrane were now an acknowledged romance and actually had plans for marriage immediately the ship returned to Earth. Jamison made the usual inept jests suited ...
— Operation: Outer Space • William Fitzgerald Jenkins

... This, however, is a very artless formula which has somehow developed of recent years; and it is doubtful whether even the audiences to which these plays appeal would not in reality prefer something a little less inept in the matter of construction. As soon as we get above this level, at all events, the fostering of anticipation becomes a matter of the first importance. The problem is, not to cut short the spectator's ...
— Play-Making - A Manual of Craftsmanship • William Archer

... principles which Gabriel Harvey was at that time trying so hard to establish in English prosody; but the experiment, which turned out so badly in the master's hands, fared even worse in those of the disciple, and Stanyhurst's lines will always stand as a noted specimen of inept translation and ridiculous versification. Equally inartistic was his version of some of the Psalms in the same metre. In Latin he wrote a profound commentary on Porphyry, the Neo-Platonic mystic. Stanyhurst, who was uncle to James Ussher, the ...
— The Glories of Ireland • Edited by Joseph Dunn and P.J. Lennox

... presence of the justices, and the sworn inquest. Of extrajudicial confession, all authorities held with the illustrious Farinaceus and Matthaeus, 'confessio extrajudicialis in se nulla est; et quod nullum est, non potest adminiculari.' It was totally inept, and void of all strength and effect from the beginning; incapable, therefore, of being bolstered up or supported, or, according to the law phrase, adminiculated, by other presumptive circumstances. In the present case, therefore, letting ...
— The Heart of Mid-Lothian, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... were developed in Western Europe during the period extending from about 1150 to 1450 or 1500, received in an unscientific age the wholly erroneous and inept name of Gothic. This name has, however, become so fixed in common usage that it is hardly possible to substitute for it any more scientific designation. In reality the architecture to which it ...
— A Text-Book of the History of Architecture - Seventh Edition, revised • Alfred D. F. Hamlin

... was silent for a second or two, then glanced over at Cooms. "There've been no leaks on our side," he remarked. "And they must have known about this for weeks! Of all the inept, bungling—" ...
— Lion Loose • James H. Schmitz

... than Jove, more wise than Solomon, Inept to combat thy severity? Have pity, Sylvia! And let Love be one Among the folk that ...
— The Line of Love - Dizain des Mariages • James Branch Cabell

... green and gold. A consciousness of power leapt high within Paul. Only the sun was above him, the sun and the suave immensity of space. How insignificant an episode was a human life, how futile and inept; a tiny note in a monstrous score. Below in the teeming streets moved a million such points, each one but a single note in this vast orchestration, a bird note, faint, inaudible 'mid the music of the spheres. Yet each to each was the centre of the Universe; all symbolised the triumph to the ...
— The Orchard of Tears • Sax Rohmer

... parable and answered, "O thou fool! why wert thou so ineffably blessed in one presence? Why, in quitting that presence, did Duty become so grim? Why dost thou address to me those inept pedantic questionings, under the light of yon moon, which has suddenly ceased to be to thy thoughts an astronomical body and has become, forever and forever, identified in thy heart's dreams with romance and poesy and first love? Why, instead of gazing on that uncomfortable ...
— Kenelm Chillingly, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... much of the foregoing attack upon the intellectual and moral character of Burns, to be the trespass (for reasons that will shortly appear, it cannot be called the venial trespass) of a mind obtuse, superficial, and inept. What portion of malignity such a mind is susceptible of, the judicious admirers of the poet, and the discerning friends of the man, will not trouble themselves to enquire; but they will wish that this evil principle had possessed more sway than they are at liberty to assign to it; the offender's ...
— The Prose Works of William Wordsworth • William Wordsworth

... Moon. My mind flung ahead. Grantline with his treasure, unsuspecting this brigand ship. And suddenly, beyond all thought of Grantline and his treasure, there came to me a fear for Anita. In God's truth I had been, so far, a very stumbling inept champion—doomed to failure with everything I tried. It swept me, so that I cursed my own incapacity. Why had I not contrived to have Anita desert at the asteroid? Would it not have been far better for her ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science April 1930 • Various

... its cold, lapidary construction; and while other boys played football or cricket, this withered little fellow used to lark about with a note-book, all by himself, torturing sensible English into its refractory and colourless periods and elaborating, without the help of a Gradus, those inept word-mosaics which are called Latin verses. "Good fun," he used to say, "and every bit as exciting as algebra," as though that constituted a recommendation. Often the good form master shook his head, and enquired ...
— South Wind • Norman Douglas

... ruminants the possibility of a long program of activities which the ruminant brain might otherwise develop. The ruminant hoof and leg is well designed for swift and rough travel, for battles with distance, snow, ice, mud and flood, and for a certain amount of fighting, but they are inept for the ...
— The Minds and Manners of Wild Animals • William T. Hornaday

... tried judgment and leadership in the extreme. Cervera found Santiago destitute of facilities for refitting. Yet the fact remains that he had 10 days in which to coal and get away. "We cannot," writes Admiral Mahan, "expect ever again to have an enemy so inept as Spain showed herself ...
— A History of Sea Power • William Oliver Stevens and Allan Westcott

... indestructible and unique possession. If she didn't know him she would like to know who did. But up till now she had meant to spare Mrs. Majendie her knowledge of him, for she was not ill-natured. She was sorry for the poor, inept, ...
— The Helpmate • May Sinclair

... he was a vile imposter. But it was done. The man had gained the confidence of Captain Lachaumareys, who ignorant of navigation himself, was doubtless glad to get someone to undertake his duty. But it must be told, that this blind inept confidence was the sole cause of the loss of the Medusa frigate, as well as all ...
— Thrilling Narratives of Mutiny, Murder and Piracy • Anonymous

... that which is beautiful in form and expression, inspiring and helpful in spirit, noble and righteous in sentiment can be called literature as we are considering it. There may be weak and frivolous books, well-meaning but inept books, and really bad books, but none of them can be ...
— Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 10 - The Guide • Charles Herbert Sylvester

... possessed a much larger army and navy than Chile, the allies counted confidently on victory. But Peru's army of eight thousand—having within four hundred as many officers as men, directed by no fewer than twenty-six generals, and presided over by a civil government altogether inept—was no match for an army less than a third of its size to be sure, but well drilled and commanded, and with a stable, progressive, and efficient government at its back. The Peruvian forces, lacking any substantial support from ...
— The Hispanic Nations of the New World - Volume 50 in The Chronicles Of America Series • William R. Shepherd

... like an adventurous tomcat that wished only to hide itself meekly in its accustomed haunts; and its unobtrusive bearing seemed to say, the less said about the matter the better. What a storm of obloquy would have burst upon such inept diplomacy in America, or in England, or even in France. Not so here. Everybody was sore and sorry, but the newspapers and the journalists could raise no protest that counted. It is all explained by the fact that the people do not govern, have nothing to do with the whip or the reins, nor have they ...
— Germany and the Germans - From an American Point of View (1913) • Price Collier

... work. But, after all, it is a nation of money-grubbers, ruled by a money-trust, where wealth is worshipped as no other nation worships rank; a nation without culture, without experience in world-politics, without self-control, loudly vain, inept, wasteful, childish—a nation, in other words, at the awkward age between ...
— The Destroyer - A Tale of International Intrigue • Burton Egbert Stevenson

... doing it. You will see there, full as well, I dare say, as Horace did at Rome, how states are defended by arms, adorned by manners, and improved by laws. Nay, you have an Horace there as well as an Augustus; I need not name Voltaire, 'qui nil molitur inept?' as Horace himself said of another poet. I have lately read over all his works that are published, though I had read them more than once before. I was induced to this by his 'Siecle de Louis XIV', which I have yet read but four times. ...
— The PG Edition of Chesterfield's Letters to His Son • The Earl of Chesterfield



Words linked to "Inept" :   ineptness, incompetent, infelicitous, feckless, maladroit, clumsy, inapt, cumbersome, tactless, awkward



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