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 Each of those splendid pieces -- the ornate metal medallions of wheat and longhorns, the ceiling’s aluminum leaf, the flying saucer chandeliers -- requires skillful upkeep, not the neglect or slapdash fixes so often foisted on it. Sharon Grigsby, Dallas News, "My sneak peek tour with the South African gearhead who’s restoring Dallas’ Hall of State," 31 July 2020 Tack on monkeys scrambling in the canopy, the toasty scent of roasting coffee beans that lofts out from the main lodge, and the skillful service, and it’s a wonder anyone can ever tear themselves away. Lila Battis, Travel + Leisure, "Top 5 Africa Resort Hotels," 8 July 2020 Winning lasting social policy reform also required skillful policy crafting. Edwin Amenta, The Conversation, "To achieve a new New Deal, Democrats must learn from the old one," 26 June 2020 Both imaginative and skillful, you are completely taken up with your vocation., "Horoscope," 24 June 2020 Ministers become skillful in helping people face death, but most of them have not yet faced this need. Avis D. Carlson, Harper's Magazine, "The Jitters," 23 June 2020 Judgment has given way to technique, coherence to deconstruction, the picture of the whole has broken apart into skillful scribbles. Ari Schulman, The New Republic, "The Coronavirus and the Right’s Scientific Counterrevolution," 15 June 2020 Morgan expected a federal government that was his quiet and mild-mannered silent partner; Roosevelt abhorred bullies and was a very skillful bully himself. Steve Donoghue, The Christian Science Monitor, "‘The Hour of Fate’ untangles complex trust-busting history," 12 June 2020 Introduced in 1866, the Rolling Block held only one shot, but a skillful user could get off 16 to 17 rounds per minute, as compared to the three per minute of a Springfield Rifle Musket. David E. Petzal, Field & Stream, "Wild West Guns that Hollywood Forgot," 10 June 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

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

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Statistics for skillful

Last Updated

8 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Skillful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 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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