\ ə-ˈdrȯit How to pronounce adroit (audio) \

Definition of adroit

: having or showing skill, cleverness, or resourcefulness in handling situations an adroit leader adroit maneuvers

Other Words from adroit

adroitly adverb
adroitness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for adroit

clever, adroit, cunning, ingenious mean having or showing practical wit or skill in contriving. clever stresses physical or mental quickness, deftness, or great aptitude. a person clever with horses adroit often implies a skillful use of expedients to achieve one's purpose in spite of difficulties. an adroit negotiator cunning implies great skill in constructing or creating. a filmmaker cunning in his use of special effects ingenious suggests the power of inventing or discovering a new way of accomplishing something. an ingenious software engineer

dexterous, adroit, deft mean ready and skilled in physical movement. dexterous implies expertness with consequent facility and quickness in manipulation. unrolled the sleeping bag with a dexterous toss adroit implies dexterity but usually also stresses resourcefulness or artfulness or inventiveness. the magician's adroit response to the failure of her prop won applause deft emphasizes lightness, neatness, and sureness of touch or handling. a surgeon's deft manipulation of the scalpel

Did you know?

Adroit goes back to an Old French word meaning "handsome or elegant" as well as "skilled in combat." The adjective is still used to imply skillfulness, but usually not of the physical kind. Adroit most often describes cleverness that achieves one's purpose in spite of difficulties.

Examples of adroit in a Sentence

Rumor has always played a role in politics, but rarely have the backstage operatives been so adroit, and so cynical, in their use of vitriol. — Walter Shapiro, Time, 10 July 1989 He was adroit with money and was blessed with the extraordinary Spanish gift of prolific, and even inchoate, invention. — V. S. Pritchett, "Goya … ," 1975, in A Man of Letters1985 Family medicine … is constructed around the unquantifiable idea that a doctor who treats your grandmother, your father, your niece, and your daughter will be more adroit in treating you. — John McPhee, Table of Contents, 1984 She is adroit at handling problems. with an adroit flick of the wrist, flipped the omelet into the air and landed it squarely back in the pan
Recent Examples on the Web Lapid, an ex–television broadcaster, is more politically adroit and strategically patient than previously credited. Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic, 20 Sep. 2022 The characterizations by the ART cast are not just technically adroit but keenly particularized. Don Aucoin,, 1 Sep. 2022 Aveline is adroit at navigating through 18-century Louisiana by presenting herself as a high society business executive, adventurer or enslaved worker. Jonathan Lee, Washington Post, 13 July 2022 The Clevelanders played, as usual, with clarity, poise and adroit balances among the sections, elegance without reticence, urgency without pressure, airiness without weightlessness. New York Times, 22 May 2022 Simultaneously straightforward and quirky, his music was deceptively constructed in ways that challenged even the most adroit musicians. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 June 2022 That may partially explain why Biden’s adroit handling of the war in Ukraine has not prompted detectable movement in his approval rating. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 2 June 2022 Kemp, an adroit politician, moved quickly to solidify his base of support and cut off Perdue’s. The Editors, National Review, 26 May 2022 Donovan Mitchell and Royce O’Neale are too thick and not really adroit enough to consistently do it. Andy Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 7 Mar. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of adroit

1652, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for adroit

borrowed from French, going back to Old French, "handsome, elegant, skilled (in combat)," from a-, prefix, perhaps with intensive value (going back to Latin ad- ad-) + droit "straight, direct, true, regular," going back to Latin directus "straight, direct" — more at dress entry 1

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Last Updated

3 Oct 2022

Cite this Entry

“Adroit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for adroit


\ ə-ˈdrȯit How to pronounce adroit (audio) \

Kids Definition of adroit

: having or showing great skill or cleverness an adroit leader

Other Words from adroit

adroitly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on adroit

Nglish: Translation of adroit for Spanish Speakers


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