Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

proficient

play
adjective pro·fi·cient \prə-ˈfi-shənt\

Simple Definition of proficient

  • : good at doing something

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of proficient

  1. :  well advanced in an art, occupation, or branch of knowledge

proficient

noun

proficiently

adverb

Examples of proficient in a sentence

  1. With this system, a large pool of teachers are asked to identify students they believe are proficient in a given subject; those students are then tested, and their grades stand as the proficiency range. —Malcolm Gladwell, New Yorker, 15 Sept. 2003

  2. Dr. Pascual-Leone recruited 15 proficient Braille readers and wired them up so he could measure their somatosensory cortex—the part of the brain that registers and processes the sense of touch. —Sharon Begley, Wall Street Journal, 11 Oct. 2002

  3. Become proficient at lag putting and you may make a few. —Dave Pelz, Golf Magazine, July 1996

  4. He has become very proficient at computer programming.

  5. She is proficient in two foreign languages.



Origin and Etymology of proficient

Latin proficient-, proficiens, present participle of proficere to go forward, accomplish, from pro- forward + facere to make — more at pro-, do


First Known Use: circa 1590

Synonym Discussion of proficient

proficient, adept, skilled, skillful, expert mean having great knowledge and experience in a trade or profession. proficient implies a thorough competence derived from training and practice <proficient in translating foreign languages>. adept implies special aptitude as well as proficiency <adept at doing long division>. skilled stresses mastery of technique <a skilled surgeon>. skillful implies individual dexterity in execution or performance <skillful drivers>. expert implies extraordinary proficiency and often connotes knowledge as well as technical skill <expert in the evaluation of wines>.

Rhymes with proficient


PROFICIENT Defined for Kids

proficient

play
adjective pro·fi·cient \prə-ˈfi-shənt\

Definition of proficient for Students

  1. :  very good at doing something <a proficient reader>

proficiently

adverb




Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

of, relating to, or near a shore

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

lavender-fields-in-france

Which of these is a synonym of caesura?

interruption rebellion torrent megillah
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ