adept

adjective
\ ə-ˈdept also ˈa-ˌdept How to pronounce adept (audio) \

Definition of adept

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: thoroughly proficient : expert an adept negotiator He's adept at fixing computers.

adept

noun
ad·​ept | \ ˈa-ˌdept How to pronounce adept (audio) , ə-ˈdept, a-ˈ\

Definition of adept (Entry 2 of 2)

: a highly skilled or well-trained individual : expert an adept at chess

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Other Words from adept

Adjective

adeptly \ ə-​ˈdep-​(t)lē How to pronounce adeptly (audio) , a-​ \ adverb
She dealt with the changes adeptly.
adeptness \ -​ˈdep(t)-​nəs How to pronounce adeptness (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for adept

Adjective

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

Examples of adept in a Sentence

Adjective

Madison, Jefferson's lifelong friend, collaborator, and political ally, was quizzical and skeptical. His mind was less capacious and less elevated than Jefferson's, but more … original, and instinctively contrary. Less learned than Jefferson, his verbal skills inferior, he was almost pedantically alert to inner complications, and so, though less adept a politician, he was more consistent. — Bernard Bailyn, To Begin the World Anew, 2003 Three small figurines carved of ivory from mammoth tusks have been found in a cave in southwestern Germany, providing stronger evidence that human ancestors were already adept at figurative art more than 30,000 years ago, an archaeologist is reporting today. — John Noble Wilford, New York Times, 18 Dec. 2003 The Angels exploited center-fielder Bernie Williams's weak throwing arm in the division series against the Yankees and are adept at scampering from first to third on hits to the outfield. — Jack Curry, New York Times, 20 Oct. 2002 Barnum was especially adept at pulling back one curtain after another, keeping the audience in a state of panting uncertainty, perpetually postponing the revelation of what was "really" going on. — Jackson Lears, New Republic, 12 Nov. 2001 He's adept in several languages. he's an adept pitcher, and the team is lucky to have him

Noun

Once safely back in Paris, and having attained his majority, the poet squandered his inheritance with an adept's fervor … — Nicholas Delbanco, Harper's, September 2004 They recruited computational chemists, software engineers, AI experts, and various other computer adepts, all of whom put their monster minds together to create an automated reasoning system that could inspect vast amounts of chemical data quickly and point the finger at potential new drug compounds. — Ed Regis, Wired, June 2000 even by the standards of Washington, he's an adept at political intrigue and power politics
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Aramco’s government relations men proved highly adept at promoting the compelling but distorted stories that William Eddy sold to powerbrokers in Washington and places farther afield. Darren Dochuk, The New Republic, "Men of God and the Genesis of the U.S.-Saudi Relationship," 17 July 2019 As the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell has been among Trump’s most adept enablers. Dahleen Glanton, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Donald Trump could pose the greatest threat to America. But his enabler, Mitch McConnell, is a close second.," 11 July 2019 His physical gifts — the length of his arms in particular — combined with his mental gifts to turn him into one of the most adept defenders in the NBA. Tania Ganguli, latimes.com, "Elder statesman Andre Iguodala helps put things in perspective for Warriors," 4 June 2019 Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images Michael Schur is one of the most adept minds in TV comedy. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "The 2 decisions — and 1 happy accident — that made The Office a hit," 15 Dec. 2018 Besson has always been adept at the unreal — like telling a pulpy story about a gorgeous model who’s also a lethal killer. Noel Murray, chicagotribune.com, "‘Anna’ movie review: You’ve seen this female action hero before, in a better version titled ‘La Femme Nikita’," 26 June 2019 The result is desperate wolves that are less adept at hunting wild game and more likely to go for livestock. Josh Adler, National Geographic, "Making peace in the Golan Heights—between humans and wolves," 11 Apr. 2019 So far, Pulisic has been adept at ignoring the pressure that comes with it. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "Christian Pulisic Becomes Most Expensive U.S. Soccer Star After Record Transfer," 2 Jan. 2019 Through both projects Foster has proven to be a thoughtful lyricist, with a smooth flow and an adept ear for composition. Ben Baskin, SI.com, "The Best Athlete-Turned-Rapper? It’s Arian Foster. (Just Ask Him)," 26 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Martin has even mentioned having the 6-foot-11 Porter, with his adept passing skills, bring the ball upcourt to initiate offense. Aaron Reiss, kansascity, "Mizzou's Porter will help make SEC basketball even more competitive than last season," 28 June 2018 The Volvo is a reasonably able cargo-toter, but the interior dimensions are a little less adept at carrying people. Ben Stewart, Popular Mechanics, "Cargo Showdown: Which Crossover SUV Is Best for Hauling Your Stuff?," 4 Aug. 2018 The latest edition kicked off Tuesday in Mountain View, Calif., where the Internet giant showed off how its Assistant, available on phones and its smart speaker Google Home line, was getting more adept at mimicking human conversation. Jefferson Graham, ajc, "Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant were asked 150 questions. Here's who got the most right," 9 May 2018 Some of that is a savvy front office, but that has to go hand-in-hand with a coaching staff adept at player development. Rick Bonnell, charlotteobserver, "Hornets got James Borrego from Spurs. At his best, he brings 4 great habits with him. | Charlotte Observer," 8 May 2018 Abdul-Rauf was one of the premier guards in the NBA during the 1990s with the Denver Nuggets because of his quick release combined with street-ball handles and adept shot making ability. Clevis Murray, azcentral, "Phoenix Suns draft prospect workout headlined by Duke point guard Trevon Duval," 14 June 2018 The attacking spark behind Manchester City's record-setting season had 12 goals, 20 assists in all competitions in 2017-18 and is as adept at creating for others as anyone on the planet. Avi Creditor, SI.com, "Meet the Ultimate World Cup 23: The Best Talent in Russia," 11 June 2018 Jonathan Halperin, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Policing future drug industry payments received by FDA advisory committee members would be challenging even for an agency adept at limiting conflicts of interest. Charles Piller, Science | AAAS, "Hidden conflicts? Pharma payments to FDA advisers after drug approvals spark ethical concerns," 5 July 2018 Ross’ admirers include Craig Newmark, founder and namesake of Craigslist, an entrepreneur adept at using technology to shake up the status quo. Pamela Wood, baltimoresun.com, "Democrat Alec Ross, tech expert and author, says as Maryland governor he'll focus on 'what's next'," 24 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'adept.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of adept

Adjective

1698, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1674, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for adept

Adjective

derivative of adept entry 2

Noun

borrowed from New Latin adeptus "one who has attained a high degree of proficiency (as in alchemy or hermetic philosophy)," going back to Latin, "having attained," past participle of adipīscī "to arrive at, attain," from ad- ad- + apīscī "to seize hold of, obtain," perhaps an inchoative derivative from the base of apere "to join" — more at apt entry 1

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Statistics for adept

Last Updated

7 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for adept

The first known use of adept was in 1674

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More Definitions for adept

adept

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of adept

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: very good at doing something that is not easy

adept

noun

English Language Learners Definition of adept (Entry 2 of 2)

: a highly skilled or well-trained person : someone who is adept at something

adept

adjective
ad·​ept | \ ə-ˈdept How to pronounce adept (audio) \

Kids Definition of adept

: very good at something adept at swimming

Other Words from adept

adeptly adverb
adeptness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on adept

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with adept

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for adept

Spanish Central: Translation of adept

Nglish: Translation of adept for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of adept for Arabic Speakers

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