pro·​fi·​cien·​cy prə-ˈfi-shən(t)-sē How to pronounce proficiency (audio)
: advancement in knowledge or skill : progress
: the quality or state of being proficient

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 The bright college student had lost her ability to write with proficiency, do mental arithmetic, name common objects, or copy a simple diagram. R Douglas Fields, WIRED, 31 Mar. 2024 These services provide tax preparation or guidance only to low- and moderate-income taxpayers who meet the income limits, or who have disabilities or limited English proficiency. Jon Healey, Los Angeles Times, 29 Mar. 2024 Gabby’s proficiency extends beyond traditional art, encompassing different mediums and styles, showcasing her adaptability and creativity. Heide Janssen, Orange County Register, 17 Mar. 2024 The analysis also uncovered that Latina women are more likely than Latino men to hold a bachelor’s degree, regardless of age group, country of origin, veteran status or English proficiency. Emi Tuyetnhi Tran, NBC News, 1 Mar. 2024 Despite a large number of tourists swarming the country, very low proficiency was measures in 2022 at 416 out of 800 points. Katharina Buchholz, Forbes, 29 Feb. 2024 Kansas City adopted the resolution to create a plan to provide additional resources to residents with limited English proficiency in July 2023. Joseph Hernandez, Kansas City Star, 27 Feb. 2024 Pandemic distance learning was followed by a drop in math and English proficiency to levels not seen in decades. Phillip Reese, Sacramento Bee, 22 Feb. 2024 International Requirements: Non-residents and international candidates must have their educational credentials evaluated and meet English proficiency, with specific steps for SSN provision and work authorization. Bryce Welker, Miami Herald, 21 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'proficiency.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1544, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of proficiency was in 1544

Dictionary Entries Near proficiency

Cite this Entry

“Proficiency.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


pro·​fi·​cien·​cy prə-ˈfish-ən-sē How to pronounce proficiency (audio)
plural proficiencies
: the quality or state of being proficient

More from Merriam-Webster on proficiency

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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