skill·​ful | \ ˈskil-fəl How to pronounce skillful (audio) \

Definition of skillful

1 : possessed of or displaying skill : expert a skillful chef
2 : accomplished with skill a skillful treatment

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Other Words from skillful

skillfully \ ˈskil-​fə-​lē How to pronounce skillfully (audio) \ adverb
skillfulness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for skillful

proficient, adept, skilled, skillful, expert mean having great knowledge and experience in a trade or profession. proficient implies a thorough competence derived from training and practice. proficient in translating foreign languages adept implies special aptitude as well as proficiency. adept at doing long division skilled stresses mastery of technique. a skilled surgeon skillful implies individual dexterity in execution or performance. skillful drivers expert implies extraordinary proficiency and often connotes knowledge as well as technical skill. expert in the evaluation of wines

Examples of skillful in a Sentence

He is skillful at diplomacy. an artist skillful in the use of color the skillful manner in which the doctor and nurses treated the patient These issues require skillful handling.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Leadership matters One important change was the shift from bin Laden’s skillful leadership to Zawahiri’s contentious management. Tricia Bacon And Elizabeth Grimm Arsenault, Washington Post, "Did bin Laden’s death help the Islamic State?," 2 May 2018 Happily, whoever was manning the potato end of things during my next visit demonstrated a more skillful hand, the cubes of potato browned and crisp on all sides. Lindsey Mcclave, The Courier-Journal, "Highland Morning may be a Bardstown Road staple, but it fails to impress," 19 June 2019 Then using strategic, skillful ads to pull in reviews from customers and building the rich data. Lily Shaw, Twin Cities, "Startup Showcase: Minivan’s necessity drove this mom to invention," 16 June 2019 As the waste motion came under control—as the boys from across the nation were trained into effective, skillful teams—millions of acres of land were transformed. Hubert H. (hubert Horatio) Humphrey, Harper's magazine, "Into the Woods," 10 June 2019 Parasites are among nature’s most skillful manipulators — and one of their specialties is making hosts perform reckless acts of irrational self-harm. Quanta Magazine, "Can Microbes Encourage Altruism?," 29 June 2017 In her debut match at the Under-16s Women's World Cup, the skillful midfielder received the player of the match award. Aimee Lewis And Motez Bishara, CNN, "Giulia Gwinn: Germany teenager scores brilliant winner on Women's World Cup debut," 8 June 2019 During the referendum, campaigners had been skillful at stirring up resentments but had not set out in sufficient detail the nuts and bolts of leaving the E.U. or what Britain’s future relationship with Europe should be. Jonathan Coe, Time, "How Brexit Broke Britain and Revealed a Country at War With Itself," 6 June 2019 The solo vocal writing is also skillful, establishing undercurrents of emotion without showiness. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "‘Marnie’ Review: A Thief’s Secrets," 22 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'skillful.' 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 skillful

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for skillful

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for skillful

The first known use of skillful was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for skillful



English Language Learners Definition of skillful

: having the training, knowledge, and experience that is needed to do something well : having a lot of skill
: showing or requiring skill


skill·​ful | \ ˈskil-fəl How to pronounce skillful (audio) \

Kids Definition of skillful

1 : having or showing ability : expert a skillful gardener
2 : done or made with ability a skillful dive

Other Words from skillful

skillfully \ -​fə-​lē \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on skillful

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with skillful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for skillful

Spanish Central: Translation of skillful

Nglish: Translation of skillful for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of skillful for Arabic Speakers

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food or victuals

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