inapt, inept
These two words are often confused because they overlap in their basic meanings ‘inappropriate, unsuitable’ and ‘unskilful’. Inapt tends to mean rather the first of these, and applies only to actions and circumstances, whereas inept means rather the second, is much more common, and applies to people as well as actions:

• In this respect, the oft-quoted cathedral metaphor is not inapt —J. Richards et al., 1988

• She believes it would be politically inept to cut such training programmes at a time when the jobless total is rising fast —Today, 1992

• Nicholas was inept at all forms of promiscuity except gossip —Esquire, 1992

• His inapt use of the colloquial ‘just for kicks’ undermines his claim —Guardian, 2007.

So if you say that a person's reply is inapt and inept, you mean that it was both inappropriate and clumsily expressed.

Modern English usage. 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • inapt — INÁPT, Ă, inapţi, te, adj. Nepotrivit pentru o anumită sarcină, slujbă etc.; lipsit de putere, de forţa (fizică) de a face ceva. – Din fr. inapte. Trimis de valeriu, 08.11.2007. Sursa: DEX 98  Inapt ≠ apt, capabil Trimis de siveco, 03.08.2004.… …   Dicționar Român

  • Inapt — In*apt , a. [Pref. in not + apt: cf. F. inapte. Cf. {Inept}.] Unapt; not apt; unsuitable; inept. {In*apt ly}, adv. {In*apt ness}, n. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • inapt — I adjective at variance, clashing, discordant, discrepant, disproportionate, dissonant, ill adapted, ill suited, ill timed, impolitic, improper, inaccordant, inadmissible, inadvisable, inapplicable, inapposite, inappropriate, incompatible,… …   Law dictionary

  • inapt — (adj.) 1744, from IN (Cf. in ) (1) not, opposite of + APT (Cf. apt). Related: Inaptly; inaptness …   Etymology dictionary

  • inapt — unhappy, infelicitous, inappropriate, unfitting, unsuitable, improper, *unfit Analogous words: inept, maladroit, gauche, *awkward, clumsy: banal, flat, jejune, insipid Antonyms: apt Contrasted words: happy, felicitous, appropriate (see FIT):… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • inapt — [adj] incompetent; not suitable awkward, banal, clumsy, dull, flat, gauche, ill adapted, ill fitted, ill suited, improper, inadept, inapposite, inappropriate, incongruous, inept, inexperienced, inexpert, infelicitous, insipid, jejune, maladroit,… …   New thesaurus

  • inapt — [in apt′] adj. 1. not apt; not suitable; inappropriate 2. lacking skill or aptitude; inept inaptitude [inap′tə to͞od΄, in ap′tətyo͞od΄] n. inaptly adv. inaptness n …   English World dictionary

  • inapt — in|apt [ınˈæpt] adj formal an inapt phrase, statement etc is not right for a particular situation →↑inept ▪ a very inapt comment >inaptly adv >inaptness n [U] …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • inapt — adjective formal an inapt phrase, statement etc is not right for a particular situation: a very inapt comment compare inept inaptly adverb inaptness noun (U) …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • inapt — adjective Date: circa 1670 not apt: a. not suitable < an inapt analogy > b. inept • inaptly adverb • inaptness noun …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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