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 Slowly but steadily, Eva realizes the extent of her country’s evil deeds, and in her dawning knowledge lies skillful character development. Washington Post, "In ‘The German House,’ a translator comes to terms with her family’s role in World War II," 31 Dec. 2019 Kuang is an accomplished designer, but his book’s greatest strengths are his thorough reporting and skillful storytelling. Fortune, "These Books Will Help You Understand the Relationship Between Human and Machine," 28 Dec. 2019 Collaborating across lines of race, culture and roles requires skillful facilitation. Michelle Valladares, The Conversation, "5 new ways for schools to work with families," 11 Dec. 2019 All are skillful at multitasking and undaunted by traveling economy. Steven Kurutz, New York Times, "Inside The World of Interiors, Condé Nast’s Secret Weapon," 4 Dec. 2019 From the very first whistle, those in white proved too strong, too fast and too skillful as the All Blacks wilted under 80 minutes of intense, brutal England pressure. Matias Grez, CNN, "England stuns New Zealand to book its place in the Rugby World Cup final," 26 Oct. 2019 Bong, by contrast, is a far more skillful and thoughtful filmmaker. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "How “Parasite” Falls Short of Greatness," 14 Oct. 2019 She will be remembered as a frequent and accomplished world traveler and one skillful, with silk and yarn needlework., "Margaret M. Derby," 5 Sep. 2019 Director Jon Tracy makes such skillful use of this discomfort in the Shotgun production that the play doesn’t feel overlong at all, though individual moments are certainly drawn out beautifully for dramatic effect. Sam Hurwitt, The Mercury News, "Review: ‘The Flick’ in Berkeley is long, funny, sad and a must-see," 4 Sep. 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

11 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Skillful.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 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

What made you want to look up skillful? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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