Simple Definition of dexterous
: having or showing great skill or cleverness : showing dexterity
Examples of dexterous in a sentence
They praised her dexterous handling of the crisis.
The movie is a dexterous retelling of a classic love story.
Did You Know?
Dexterous comes from the Latin word dexter, meaning "on the right side." Since most people are right-handed, and therefore do things more easily with their right hand, dexter developed the sense of skillful. English speakers crafted dexterous from dexter and have been using the resulting adjective for anyone who is skillful-in either a physical or mental capacity-since at least the early 1600s. The adjective ambidextrous, which combines dexter with the Latin prefix ambi-, meaning "both," describes one who is able to use both hands in an equally skillful way.
Variants of dexterous
Origin of dexterous
Latin dextr-, dexter on the right side, skillful
First Known Use: 1609
Synonym Discussion of dexterous
DEXTEROUS Defined for Kids
Medical Definition of dexterous
1: skillful and competent with the hands
2: mentally adroit and skillful
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up dexterous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).