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 Kylie jumped on the issue and deleted the pic, reposting with some skillful cropping to get rid of the obvious mistake. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Kylie Jenner Deleted and Reposted Her Latest Bikini Pic After a Major Photoshop Fail," 29 Apr. 2020 During public events and voter drives, there was Michael present and answering questions, the often-unemployed scavenger against some of Alaska’s most skillful politicians — Tony Knowles, Arliss Sturgulewski and the eventual winner, Wally Hickel. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, "How Michael O’Callaghan went from Anchorage activist to Portland’s homeless mayoral candidate," 9 Mar. 2020 But con artists are especially skillful at what social scientists call framing, telling stories in ways that appeal to the biases, beliefs and prominent desires of their targets. Barry M. Mitnick, The Conversation, "Why do people believe con artists?," 21 Feb. 2020 Sankovitch here does a skillful job of capturing the sometimes halting and contradictory progress of that transformation. Steve Donoghue, The Christian Science Monitor, "‘American Rebels’ shows the network behind the Revolution," 15 Apr. 2020 All the more impressive, then, is Avineri’s skillful treatment of a theme that other biographers of Marx have rarely addressed without embarrassment. Peter E. Gordon, The New Republic, "Karl Marx’s Prophetic Longing," 6 Apr. 2020 But at the helm of a world body of limited enforcement powers, Mr. Pérez de Cuéllar was praised as a skillful mediator whose persuasiveness and good timing achieved results unthinkable only a few years earlier. Robert D. Mcfadden,, "Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, 100; UN chief brokered peace pacts," 5 Mar. 2020 More: Broadcast of champions: Dave Pasch is a skillful foil for singular partners Bill Walton and Ron Wolfley Reach the reporter at or 602-444-8053. Jeff Metcalfe, azcentral, "Sportscaster Dave Pasch uses his voice to help others during coronavirus pandemic," 14 Mar. 2020 His illustrations of Petit on the tightrope relied on skillful use of perspective, bringing the reader into the sky with the birds soaring above., "‘‘For me, picture books are little theaters one holds in the hand and operates by turning the pages,’’ he once wrote. ‘‘I make my books for everyone, not just children. All of us are either children or have been children.’’," 14 Oct. 2019

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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Time Traveler for skillful

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for skillful

Last Updated

16 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Skillful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for skillful


How to pronounce skillful (audio)

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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Comments on skillful

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