adjective \ ə-ˈdrȯit \
|Updated on: 17 Jul 2018

Definition of adroit

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





Examples of adroit in a Sentence

  1. 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 ShapiroTime10 July 1989
  2. 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
  3. 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 McPheeTable of Contents1984
  4. She is adroit at handling problems.

  5. with an adroit flick of the wrist, flipped the omelet into the air and landed it squarely back in the pan

Recent Examples of adroit from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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 1dress

Synonym Discussion of 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

ADROIT Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of adroit for English Language Learners

  • : very clever or skillful

ADROIT Defined for Kids


adjective \ ə-ˈdrȯit \

Definition of adroit for Students

: having or showing great skill or cleverness
  • an adroit leader



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