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adept

adjective \ ə-ˈdept also ˈa-ˌdept \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of adept

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

adeptly

play \ə-ˈdep-(t)lē, a-\ adverb
    • She dealt with the changes adeptly.

adeptness

play \-ˈdep(t)-nəs\ noun

Examples of adept in a Sentence

  1. 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 BailynTo Begin the World Anew2003
  2. 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 WilfordNew York Times18 Dec. 2003
  3. 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 CurryNew York Times20 Oct. 2002
  4. 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 LearsNew Republic12 Nov. 2001
  5. He's adept in several languages.

  6. he's an adept pitcher, and the team is lucky to have him

Recent Examples of adept from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of adept

derivative of 2adept

Synonym Discussion of adept

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

2

adept

noun ad·ept \ ˈa-ˌdept , ə-ˈdept , a-ˈ \

Definition of adept

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

Examples of adept in a Sentence

  1. Once safely back in Paris, and having attained his majority, the poet squandered his inheritance with an adept's fervor … —Nicholas DelbancoHarper'sSeptember 2004
  2. 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 RegisWiredJune 2000
  3. even by the standards of Washington, he's an adept at political intrigue and power politics

Recent Examples of adept from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of adept

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 1apt


ADEPT Defined for English Language Learners

adept

noun

Definition of adept for English Language Learners

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


adept

adjective

Definition of adept for English Language Learners

  • : very good at doing something that is not easy


ADEPT Defined for Kids

adept

adjective ad·ept \ ə-ˈdept \

Definition of adept for Students

:very good at something
  • adept at swimming

adeptly

adverb

adeptness

noun

History for adept

Several centuries ago, at the beginnings of modern science, some people claimed to have found the trick of turning common metals to gold. The Latin word adeptus, meaning “someone who has attained something,” was even used to describe a person who could perform this feat. The English word adept, which means “skilled at something,” came from this Latin word. Certainly, a person who could make gold in this way would have to be highly skilled.

Word Root of adept

The Latin word aptus, meaning “fit” or “suitable,” gives us the root apt or ept. Words from the Latin aptus have something to do with being fitting or suitable. Something apt fits just right into a situation. To adapt is to change in order to fit a situation better. Someone who is adept has suitable skills to perform a task well, while someone who is inept does not.



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