1 of 2


: the ability to use one's knowledge effectively and readily in execution or performance
: dexterity or coordination especially in the execution of learned physical tasks
: a learned power of doing something competently : a developed aptitude or ability
language skills
obsolete : cause, reason
skill-less adjective
or skilless
skill-lessness noun
or skillessness


2 of 2


skilled; skilling; skills

intransitive verb

: to make a difference : matter, avail
Choose the Right Synonym for skill

art, skill, cunning, artifice, craft mean the faculty of executing well what one has devised.

art implies a personal, unanalyzable creative power.

the art of choosing the right word

skill stresses technical knowledge and proficiency.

the skill of a glassblower

cunning suggests ingenuity and subtlety in devising, inventing, or executing.

a mystery plotted with great cunning

artifice suggests technical skill especially in imitating things in nature.

believed realism in film could be achieved only by artifice

craft may imply expertness in workmanship.

the craft of a master goldsmith

Examples of skill in a Sentence

Noun Poker is a game of luck and skill. The work is difficult and requires a lot of skill. Cooking is a useful skill. He has excellent social skills.
Recent Examples on the Web
Filming in winter looks like summer elsewhere, and the state can also work for winter wonderland scenes thanks to creative crew skills. Zoe Hewitt, Variety, 15 May 2024 By this point, my tiny wooden house decorating skills were starting to develop, and that Easter cottage is still on display in my living room. Susan Vollenweider, Kansas City Star, 15 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for skill 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'skill.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English skil, from Old Norse, distinction, knowledge; probably akin to Old English scylian to separate, sciell shell — more at shell


Middle English skilen, from Old Norse skilja to separate, divide; akin to Old Norse skil distinction

First Known Use


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3


13th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of skill was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near skill

Cite this Entry

“Skill.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: ability that comes from training or practice
: a developed or acquired ability : accomplishment
reading skills

More from Merriam-Webster on skill

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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