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 skillful (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 Our most popular story of 2020 underscored the value of skillful art restoration, presenting a welcome counter to the many botched conservation attempts reported in recent years. Tara Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Our Ten Most Popular Stories of 2020," 30 Dec. 2020 He's delivered a terrific read, a World War II story told with a skillful, narrow focus. Star Tribune, "Review: 'From These Broken Streets,' by Roland Merullo," 24 Dec. 2020 The intended tone is darkly comic, but the supporting cast isn’t sufficiently skillful to sustain it. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Promising Young Woman’ Review: Squandered Potential," 17 Dec. 2020 But the restraints start to really come off here, and Seehorn’s skillful portrayal of Kim’s evolving dark side is mesmerizing to behold. Jeanne Jakle,, "Critic’s picks for the 10 best TV series of 2020 and how to stream them now," 16 Dec. 2020 Through Pattison’s skillful rendering, readers get a sense of being in on the investigation and finally recognizing the clues in plain sight that begin to solve the mystery. Stephanie Hanes, The Christian Science Monitor, "‘Fossil Men’ explores breakthrough science – and human nature," 8 Dec. 2020 Her hair looks so soft and silky, thanks to Deryck's skillful hands. Gabi Thorne, Allure, "Megan Thee Stallion’s Natural Hair Has Gotten So Long," 7 Dec. 2020 Their respondents were enthusiastic, thoughtful, and, being sociologists, skillful. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, "The Duelling Realities of the Coronavirus in Russia," 2 Dec. 2020 Certainly Prager and her pro team have been skillful in crafting verisimilitude for their clichéd cast of world-weary, sitcom-style office characters. Los Angeles Times, "Review: The hidden truth of LACMA’s Alex Prager show may drive you to drink," 1 Dec. 2020

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

17 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Skillful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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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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