pro·fi·cien·cy | \prə-ˈfi-shən(t)-sē \

Definition of proficiency 

1 : advancement in knowledge or skill : progress

2 : the quality or state of being proficient

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Synonyms & Antonyms for proficiency


experience, expertise, know-how, savvy, skills



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Examples of proficiency in a Sentence

surprised by his proficiency at the game after only the briefest explanation of the rules acquired proficiency at golf through long hours of practice

Recent Examples on the Web

Test results Highlights of the statewide 2018 preliminary scores include: English language arts has seen many of the largest gains in proficiency. Ricardo Cano, azcentral, "AzMERIT results: 56 percent of Arizona third-graders aren't proficient in reading," 18 June 2018 Put all the chips on college-ready, discounting the importance of hands-on learning and discouraging those with non-academic proficiencies. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "Venture capitalist visits 200 schools in 50 states and says DeVos is wrong: ‘If choice and competition improve schools, I found no sign of it.’," 15 Mar. 2018 The gap between Denver’s white students and their Hispanic peers in seventh-grade math proficiency, for example, is a whopping 50 percentage points. Mandy Mclaren, The Courier-Journal, "Analysis: Private group's report on possible takeover of JCPS leaves out key details," 1 Mar. 2018 Math proficiency improved in grades 5 and 8, and the district posted better results for end-of-course exams in algebra, geometry and biology., "Florida releases 2018 test results for reading, math, science and social studies," 15 June 2018 Points are awarded on the basis of proficiency, growth, attendance, and, in the case of high schools, post-secondary readiness. Maddie Hanna,, "Philly school district proposes to renew 16 charters, move to close one," 11 June 2018 School marshals must be certified by the state and trained in areas such as weapon proficiency, responding to active shooters and improving campus security. Diane Smith And Anna M. Tinsley, star-telegram, "Armed employees or a police force: Which is better for schools?," 4 June 2018 Universal proficiency, touted at the law’s passage, was not achieved. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "Betsy DeVos: Nothing Presidents Barack Obama or George W. Bush did in education reform really worked," 16 Jan. 2018 Those measures include: Student academic proficiency and growth; Academic achievement gaps between student subgroups; Student attendance; and Student suspensions. Mandy Mclaren, The Courier-Journal, "When will charter schools open in Kentucky? What we know a year after the law was passed," 11 Jan. 2018

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

1544, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

9 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for proficiency

The first known use of proficiency was in 1544

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