pro·​fi·​cien·​cy | \ prə-ˈfi-shən(t)-sē How to pronounce proficiency (audio) \

Definition of proficiency

1 : advancement in knowledge or skill : progress
2 : the quality or state of being proficient

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Synonyms for proficiency


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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 This new civics proficiency law also comes after the General Assembly passed a bill introduced by Rep. Anastasia P. Williams, a Providence Democrat, that would require public school students to be taught Black history., 20 July 2021 According to the Ohio Department of Education’s Data Insights study, Kindergarten and third grade students in more than 87% of Ohio school districts scored an average of 9% lower on state proficiency tests in 2020 than in 2019. Hannah Drown, cleveland, 20 July 2021 The district’s white third-graders posted proficiency rates of 72% and 68% during that same time. oregonlive, 2 July 2021 Perhaps the most worrisome from an AI skills perspective is that more than half of all children and adolescents worldwide are not meeting minimum proficiency standards in reading and mathematics. Cindy Gordon, Forbes, 27 June 2021 That process required applicants to take training classes and pass a shooting range proficiency test. Lindsay Whitehurst And Jim Vertuno, Star Tribune, 17 June 2021 As part of the licensing process, residents must submit a fingerprint, undergo a background check, participate in a training course and pass a shooting proficiency test. Devan Cole, CNN, 16 June 2021 Blum said that decreased participation could mean less English Learner funding from the federal government, money that is used to supplement English proficiency programs. Christian Robles, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9 June 2021 And while two-thirds of white students met state reading proficiency standards, only a third of Black students did. The Christian Science Monitor, 25 May 2021

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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The first known use of proficiency was in 1544

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Last Updated

31 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Proficiency.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Aug. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on proficiency

Nglish: Translation of proficiency for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of proficiency for Arabic Speakers


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