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

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 For 14 drills in a row leading up to the fire, the crew failed to respond in time — a lack of proficiency that neither the ship’s leadership nor higher commands took steps to address. Megan Rose, ProPublica, 23 Sep. 2022 Lake wants to raise the level of urgency to accelerate learning, but in a state like Alabama, which has a long history of low levels of proficiency, creating a sense of urgency can be difficult, Lake said. al, 16 Sep. 2022 A few weeks in the beginning gets them to a level of proficiency for their current role, but many want more. Shep Hyken, Forbes, 31 July 2022 The Seawolves’ lack of proficiency in shooting from both the field and the free-throw line prevented them from keeping pace with Western Washington. Anchorage Daily News, 12 Mar. 2022 In math, proficiency levels ranged from 2% in Sumter County to 77% in Mountain Brook schools. al, 8 Sep. 2022 Among the states, California is considerably below average, and sometimes in the lowest quartile, in a number of national assessments of math proficiency. Rivka Galchen, The New Yorker, 8 Sep. 2022 Beginning this fall, the university will also offer a certificate of proficiency in commercial truck driving. Ryan Anderson, Arkansas Online, 3 Sep. 2022 The English proficiency levels rose to 41.2%, up from last year’s 40.5%. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 14 July 2022 See More

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.

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

29 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Proficiency.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2022.

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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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