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
There were some bright spots in the state, including in the Madison District Public Schools in Madison Heights, where the number of students proficient was up in a number of areas.
Margus Hunt, the Colts’ 6-8 defensive end, is quite proficient in this area as well.
An in-depth discussion on flashers and stickers and the pluses and minuses of super glue ensued, how Eric's previous deckhand Ellie was proficient at using it.
In technology-proficient Singapore, artificial intelligence, once fully adopted, might lift the annual growth rate to 5.4 percent in 18 years, according to consultancy firm Accenture.
Most have come from Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador, and many are already proficient Spanish speakers.
As Spicer makes his exit, the White House will lose not only its most proficient gum chewer but also one of the best distractions Donald Trump had to keep comedians off his back.
Baseball players are used to having reporters around, and are, usually, willing and proficient in at least answering the questions (even the dumb ones).
Islamic State DIY engineers have become proficient in jury rigging commercially available hobbyist drones to drop hand grenades, mortar bombs, and other improvised devices.
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
Definition of proficient for English Language Learners
: good at doing something
PROFICIENT Defined for Kids
Definition of proficient for Students
- a proficient reader
Seen and Heard
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