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


command, IQ, mastership, mastery

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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

Incisive passing, an innate knowledge of spatial awareness and his proficiency in keeping possession of the ball in tight spaces are staples to the Japanese player's game and hence, makes him one of the best prospects in world football., "Takefusa Kubo: Why Real Madrid's Exciting Starlet Is the Biggest Bargain of the Summer," 29 July 2019 His proficiency on the piano and strong ear illustrate his remarkable talent. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, "'Struggle does not defeat you': How music helped save this young Arlington composer’s life," 29 July 2019 At McIntosh High School, proficiency rates in math rose from 0% in 2015-16 to 24% in 2017-18. Trisha Powell Crain |,, "Rural charter school stokes religious fears, roils community in Alabama," 21 July 2019 Among the meter's goals: a 72 percent AzMERIT proficiency rate in third-grade reading. Ricardo Cano, azcentral, "AzMERIT results: 56 percent of Arizona third-graders aren't proficient in reading," 18 June 2018 Rehearsals would start at 5:30 p.m. and end at 7 p.m. The group will play numerous classical and contemporary arrangements, each typically with 3 to 5 parts, requiring varying levels of reading proficiency., "Community News For The Enfield Edition," 18 July 2019 California embraced whole language in the 1970s and 1980s, but nationwide academic tests in the late 1980s and early 1990s revealed that the state was very near the bottom among the states in reading proficiency, sparking a backlash. Dan Walters, The Mercury News, "Walters: New bill re-ignites California’s reading wars," 30 June 2019 His dancers don’t bend with swooning luxury, but with nimble proficiency. Janine Parker,, "Merce Cunningham dances are marvels anew with Compagnie CNDC-Angers," 4 July 2019 Nothing on the menu breaks new ground, but the point of Cut is not novelty but rather expensive, flavorful beef, prepared with exacting proficiency by a culinary team led by chef de cuisine Hilary Henderson. Patricia Escárcega,, "Beyond Spago, exploring Wolfgang Puck’s L.A. empire at Cut and Chinois on Main," 27 June 2019

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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Statistics for proficiency

Last Updated

14 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for proficiency

The first known use of proficiency was in 1544

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Comments on proficiency

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a wrong name or inappropriate designation

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