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 In the middle of the coronavirus outbreak, voters with disabilities, limited English proficiency and unreliable mail service rely on polling places to cast their ballots. Anchorage Daily News, "Election experts warn of November disaster," 11 July 2020 The Colsons prepared for his arrival by learning Creole, with varying degrees of proficiency; hand signals became commonplace. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Father's dying wish put him in an orphanage. Now he's Michigan football's best linebacker recruit," 27 June 2020 Late last year, the district and school board pledged to drastically boost math and reading proficiency for Black, migrant and Latino students. oregonlive, "Guerrero scores high marks for handling of coronavirus, budget crises but communication needs some work, school board says," 27 June 2020 To provide case management staffing and tele-interpretation technology for immigrants and refugees with limited English proficiency. Laura Johnston, cleveland, "Greater Cleveland COVID-19 response fund awards $1.1 million in grants," 26 June 2020 In the new study, Wong and his colleagues performed listening tests on more than 400 native Cantonese speakers to determine each participant’s proficiency at distinguishing the language’s six tones. Rachel Nuwer, Scientific American, "A Gene May Help Discern Language Tone Differences: Is It Shí or Shì?," 23 June 2020 The bill defines overburdened communities as those where at least 35% of the households qualify as low-income, 40% are minority, or 40% of households have limited English proficiency. David Levinsky, USA TODAY, "Murphy endorses Burlington County lawmaker’s environmental justice measure," 20 June 2020 Be leery of expanding your basic selection; too many lures dilute proficiency. Mark Hicks, Field & Stream, "10 Ways to Catch More Largemouth Bass," 15 June 2020 His studies paid off so much that he was awarded a Big Ten Medal of Honor, which goes to one male (and now one female) student per year for proficiency in academics and athletics at each Big Ten university. David Woods, The Indianapolis Star, "IU's Greg Bell 'came out of nowhere' to win Olympic gold, then spent 50 years in dentistry," 13 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for proficiency

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The first known use of proficiency was in 1544

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Statistics for proficiency

Last Updated

18 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Proficiency.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.

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