proficient was our Word of the Day on 05/22/2012. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of proficient in a Sentence
- With this system, a large pool of teachers are asked to identify students they believe are proficient in a given subject; those students are then tested, and their grades stand as the proficiency range. —Malcolm Gladwell, New Yorker, 15 Sept. 2003
- Dr. Pascual-Leone recruited 15 proficient Braille readers and wired them up so he could measure their somatosensory cortex—the part of the brain that registers and processes the sense of touch. —Sharon Begley, Wall Street Journal, 11 Oct. 2002
- Become proficient at lag putting and you may make a few. —Dave Pelz, Golf Magazine, July 1996
He has become very proficient at computer programming.
She is proficient in two foreign languages.
Recent Examples of proficient from the Web
In both subjects, fewer West Aurora students were proficient than students statewide, the data show.
Both have substantial brakes and an adaptive suspension; a standard six-speed manual transmission or a proficient eight-speed automatic funnels power to the rear wheels.
Similarly, only 21% of low-income students were proficient in reading.
At Arise, the school whose name begins with Achievement, not even 40 percent of students were proficient in 2016, based on composite scores for English and math.
Despite that number, standardized test scores deemed just over 59 percent of students proficient enough to move onto the next grade—suggesting that unprepared students are being allowed to graduate.
In public schools statewide, 39.8% of students in grades three through eight were proficient in English in the spring, up by 1.9 percentage points from 2016.
Certainly, Ajayi upgrades a modestly proficient bunch of running backs, but there is such a thing as chemistry, and Doug Pederson didn’t want his meddled with.
Legal immigrants from Mexico and Central and South America would largely disappear from the mix, as would many Asians who aren't fully proficient in English or haven't yet earned college or graduate degrees.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'proficient.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Comparing efficient, effective, and proficient
These three words cover some overlapping territory.
Efficient most often describes what is capable of producing desired results without wasting materials, time, or energy. While the word can be applied to both people and things, it is far more commonly applied to things, such as machines, systems, processes, and organizations. The focus of the word is on how little is wasted or lost while the desired results are produced.
Effective typically describes things—such as policies, treatments, arguments, and techniques—that do what they are intended to do. People can also be described as effective when they accomplish what they set out to accomplish, but the word is far more often applied to things.
Proficient typically describes people, and it often is followed by the preposition at. If you are proficient at something, you are very good at it. You are, in fact, so good at doing it that you are unusually efficient when you do it. One can also be proficient in something, such as a language.
Synonymsaccomplished, ace, adept, compleat, complete, consummate, crack, crackerjack, educated, experienced, expert, good, great, master, masterful, masterly, practiced (also practised), professed, skilled, skillful, versed, veteran, virtuoso
Antonymsamateur, amateurish, inexperienced, inexpert, jackleg, unprofessional, unseasoned, unskilled, unskillful
Related Wordsadroit, clever, deft, dexterous (also dextrous), handy, slick, sure-handed; gifted, talented; polished, refined; effective, effectual, efficient, workmanlike; able, capable, competent, employable, fit, fitted, habile, qualified; educated, knowledgeable, schooled, taught, trained, tutored; all-around (also all-round), well-rounded; long-term, old; multiskilled, multitalented
Near Antonymsincapable, incompetent, inept, unable, unfit, unfitted, unqualified, weak; artless, crude, rude; ineffective, ineffectual, inefficient; talentless, ungifted, untalented; ignorant, unschooled, untaught, untrained, untutored; beginning, green, inexperienced, new, raw, unseasoned, untested, untried, would-be; primitive, rough, unpolished; awkward, clumsy, ham-fisted, ham-handed, heavy-handed
Synonym Discussion of proficient
- proficient in translating foreign languages
- adept at doing long division
- a skilled surgeon
- skillful drivers
- expert in the evaluation of wines
PROFICIENT Defined for English Language Learners
PROFICIENT Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
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