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noun dex·ter·i·ty \dek-ˈster-ə-tē, -ˈste-rə-\

Simple Definition of dexterity

  • : the ability to use your hands skillfully

  • : the ability to easily move in a way that is graceful

  • : clever skill : the ability to think and act quickly and cleverly

Full Definition of dexterity

plural dex·ter·i·ties

  1. 1 :  mental skill or quickness :  adroitness

  2. 2 :  readiness and grace in physical activity; especially :  skill and ease in using the hands <manual dexterity>

Examples of dexterity

  1. Russ Cellan, Ferguson's coach at Freeport (New York) High, and Ron Prince, his former offensive line coach at Virginia, both attribute Ferguson's dexterity and footwork to his extensive martial arts training … —Nunyo Demasio, Sports Illustrated, 10 Apr. 2006

  2. The Carcanet volume also offers its readers the advantage of seeing the German originals alongside the English, enabling them to perceive at a glance how much sympathy and linguistic dexterity Elliot has brought to the difficult but rewarding task of introducing a new generation of English readers to Heine's tragic but wonderfully vigorous and vivid late poetry. —S.S. Prawer, Times Literary Supplement, 28 Sept. - 4 Oct. 1990

  3. But the mayor showed considerable political dexterity in the days following the fire, taking care to distance himself from on-site decisions while accepting full responsibility for the bombing itself. He made himself available to reporters, met with people from the fire-ravaged neighborhood, and was gracious enough not to blame subordinates. —Amy Wilentz, Time, 27 May 1985

  4. The job requires manual dexterity.

  5. He has the dexterity needed to deal cards quickly.

  6. The amazing dexterity of the acrobat.

  7. He's a teacher known for his imagination and verbal dexterity.

Origin of dexterity

Middle French or Latin; Middle French dexterité, from Latin dexteritat-, dexteritas, from dexter (see dexterous)

First Known Use: 1518

Medical Dictionary


noun dex·ter·i·ty \dek-ˈster-ət-ē\

Medical Definition of dexterity

plural dex·ter·i·ties

  1. 1:  readiness and grace in physical activity; especially :  skill and ease in using the hands

  2. 2:  mental skill or quickness

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up dexterity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 12, 2016

of, relating to, or suggestive of marble

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