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1 : having or showing requisite or adequate ability or qualities [a lawyer] [ representation by counsel]
2 a : free from addiction or mental defect that renders one incapable of taking care of oneself or one's property
b : capable of understanding one's position as a criminal defendant and the nature of the criminal proceedings and able to participate in one's defense compare capacity, incompetent, insanity
3 : legally qualified or adequate: as
a : having the necessary power or authority [a judge of jurisdiction "U.S. Code"]
b : qualified for presentation in court
: admissible as evidence or capable of giving admissible evidence [a witness]
c : intelligent [a waiver]
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.