flu·​en·​cy | \ ˈflü-ən(t)-sē How to pronounce fluency (audio) \

Definition of fluency

: the quality or state of being fluent

Examples of fluency in a Sentence

She speaks with great fluency. Students must demonstrate fluency in a foreign language to earn a degree. a dancer known for her fluency and grace He plays the piano with speed and fluency.
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Recent Examples on the Web

As a candidate, John Kerry was criticized for his fluency in French, and Trump attacked Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio for answering questions in Spanish on the campaign trail. Peter Hessler, Time, "The Case for Embracing Linguistic Identities," 27 June 2019 That placement will offer Mr. Booker the chance to demonstrate his own fluency on the issues while also letting him draw contrasts in tone with the more populist Massachusetts senator. Jonathan Martin, New York Times, "Is Cory Booker Too Nice? (And Is That Bad?)," 25 June 2019 Ostensibly the questions, as well as data about English fluency and residence of the respondents, were meant to measure how well people were assimilating into American society. Jess Mchugh, Fortune, "The U.S. Census Has a Long History of Discrimination," 20 June 2019 Much like one of his primary mentors, tenor sax master George Coleman, the 50-year-old New Yorker combines extraordinary fluency at every tempo with a clear, rounded tone and an expansive harmonic palette. Andrew Gilbert, The Mercury News, "Sax man Eric Alexander brings his gorgeous tones to SF Bay Area shows," 18 June 2019 But the music thrives on such seemingly unlikely pairings; Herrera is also well-versed in jazz tradition, and Zimmerman’s vocal fluency lends itself to audacious undertakings on the bandstand. Washington Post, "13 things to do in the D.C. area this week," 10 June 2019 But many ideas suggested for stemming summer setback assume an audience with disposable income, employment flexibility and English fluency that not all families have. Kelly Chandler-olcott, The Conversation, "What advice articles miss about ‘summer loss’," 10 June 2019 Those seeking Koepka fluency might need Koepka stories. Chuck Culpepper, courant.com, "Brooks Koepka never got lost on his long winding road to the top of the golf world," 10 June 2019 Less visible are their working-class brethren, raised by immigrant parents who came to America with very low levels of schooling and English fluency. Reihan Salam, WSJ, "A Way Out of the Immigration Crisis," 21 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fluency.' 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 fluency

1636, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near fluency







flue pipe

Statistics for fluency

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fluency

The first known use of fluency was in 1636

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More Definitions for fluency



English Language Learners Definition of fluency

: the ability to speak easily and smoothly especially : the ability to speak a foreign language easily and effectively
: the ability to do something in a way that seems very easy


flu·​en·​cy | \ ˈflü-ən-sē How to pronounce fluency (audio) \

Kids Definition of fluency

: the ability to speak easily and well Students must demonstrate fluency in a foreign language.

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More from Merriam-Webster on fluency

Spanish Central: Translation of fluency

Nglish: Translation of fluency for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fluency for Arabic Speakers

Comments on fluency

What made you want to look up fluency? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something desired as essential

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