dexterity

noun

dex·​ter·​i·​ty dek-ˈster-ə-tē How to pronounce dexterity (audio)
-ˈste-rə-
plural dexterities
1
: readiness and grace in physical activity
especially : skill and ease in using the hands
manual dexterity
2
: mental skill or quickness : adroitness

Example Sentences

Russ Cellan, Ferguson's coach at Freeport (New York) High, and Ron Prince, his former offensive line coach at Virginia, both attribute Ferguson's dexterity and footwork to his extensive martial arts training … Nunyo Demasio, Sports Illustrated, 10 Apr. 2006 The Carcanet volume also offers its readers the advantage of seeing the German originals alongside the English, enabling them to perceive at a glance how much sympathy and linguistic dexterity Elliot has brought to the difficult but rewarding task of introducing a new generation of English readers to Heine's tragic but wonderfully vigorous and vivid late poetry. S. S. Prawer, Times Literary Supplement, 28 Sept. - 4 Oct. 1990 But the mayor showed considerable political dexterity in the days following the fire, taking care to distance himself from on-site decisions while accepting full responsibility for the bombing itself. He made himself available to reporters, met with people from the fire-ravaged neighborhood, and was gracious enough not to blame subordinates. Amy Wilentz, Time, 27 May 1985 The job requires manual dexterity. He has the dexterity needed to deal cards quickly. The amazing dexterity of the acrobat. He's a teacher known for his imagination and verbal dexterity. See More
Recent Examples on the Web But Ollie’s dexterity with that, with allowing space and delicacy, was totally key to making that work. Chris Willman, Variety, 27 Nov. 2022 Admire the dexterity, the width and the active, spread little toes. Fiona Ward, Glamour, 9 Aug. 2022 Their strengths are agility and dexterity between subjects. Anna Kaufman, USA TODAY, 20 Oct. 2022 In his videos, Mr. Detwiler performs farm chores with striking resourcefulness and dexterity. Alex Traub, New York Times, 12 Oct. 2022 Navigating around a smartphone screen can be more difficult as people lose dexterity and their eyesight worsens. Heather Kelly, Washington Post, 10 Oct. 2022 This toy will help your child develop dexterity and problem solving skills. Paige Szmodis, Popular Mechanics, 6 Oct. 2022 Forming and maintaining a government in a country as politically volatile as Italy—which has now had seven governments in the past 11 years—will require a flexibility and dexterity that Meloni and her party have never before attempted. Ian Bremmer, Time, 29 Sep. 2022 Further testing found that users wanted customizable solutions for their particular mobility and dexterity needs, not a single product that tried to accommodate a wider range of disabled people. Katie Deighton, WSJ, 28 Sep. 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Middle French or Latin; Middle French dexterité, from Latin dexteritat-, dexteritas, from dexter — see dexterous

First Known Use

1518, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of dexterity was in 1518

Dictionary Entries Near dexterity

Cite this Entry

“Dexterity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dexterity. Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

dexterity

noun

dex·​ter·​i·​ty dek-ˈster-ət-ē How to pronounce dexterity (audio)
plural dexterities
1
: mental skill or quickness
2
: ease and grace in physical activity
especially : skill and ease in using the hands

Medical Definition

dexterity

noun

dex·​ter·​i·​ty dek-ˈster-ət-ē How to pronounce dexterity (audio)
plural dexterities
1
: readiness and grace in physical activity
especially : skill and ease in using the hands
2
: mental skill or quickness

More from Merriam-Webster on dexterity

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