\ 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
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Recent Examples on the Web But strategists in both parties say a huge share of online cash is raised from older Americans who are less adroit online and have a harder time separating fact from hyperbole. New York Times, 26 Nov. 2021 After limping along for several years, and under pressure from more adroit competitors such as IBM and Apple, the company declared bankruptcy in May 2000, and soon after sold the name to its European subsidiary. Richard A. Marini, San Antonio Express-News, 8 Nov. 2021 Within our lifetimes, these devices will likely become much more adroit conversationalists. Kate Cray, The Atlantic, 17 Sep. 2021 But for creatures with such cartoonish proportions, these arachnids are surprisingly stable and adroit. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 3 Aug. 2021 Certainly, millions of aging Americans are still adroit with technology and some don’t decline cognitively until a very advanced age. New York Times, 26 June 2021 This was quickly followed by an adroit publication of the company inspired by Aesop’s Fables just before the meeting when the board and executive management began to wonder who’ll stop the rain. Robert G. Eccles, Forbes, 6 June 2021 Silver’s been adroit at managing these fickle streams of funding. Justin Davidson, Curbed, 12 May 2021 Nothing if not adroit, the longtime rockers of Weezer channeled their inner metalheads for their 15th studio album. Jennifer Mcclellan, USA TODAY, 7 May 2021

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.

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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

14 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Adroit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for adroit



English Language Learners Definition of adroit

: very clever or skillful


\ 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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