1 of 2


: the ability to use one's knowledge effectively and readily in execution or performance
: dexterity or coordination especially in the execution of learned physical tasks
: a learned power of doing something competently : a developed aptitude or ability
language skills
obsolete : cause, reason
skill-less adjective
or skilless
skill-lessness noun
or skillessness


2 of 2


skilled; skilling; skills

intransitive verb

: to make a difference : matter, avail
Choose the Right Synonym for skill

art, skill, cunning, artifice, craft mean the faculty of executing well what one has devised.

art implies a personal, unanalyzable creative power.

the art of choosing the right word

skill stresses technical knowledge and proficiency.

the skill of a glassblower

cunning suggests ingenuity and subtlety in devising, inventing, or executing.

a mystery plotted with great cunning

artifice suggests technical skill especially in imitating things in nature.

believed realism in film could be achieved only by artifice

craft may imply expertness in workmanship.

the craft of a master goldsmith

Examples of skill in a Sentence

Noun Poker is a game of luck and skill. The work is difficult and requires a lot of skill. Cooking is a useful skill. He has excellent social skills.
Recent Examples on the Web
To up their sorcery skills, Magic Science contains activities that teach them tricks using chemical reactions, such as making ordinary powders mystically foam and change color, creating test tube crystal balls, and more. Cheryl Fenton, Parents, 22 Nov. 2023 These concerns are amplified by the fact that losing older workers en masse could mean a significant loss of experience, skills, and institutional knowledge for organizations. Gleb Tsipursky, Fortune, 22 Nov. 2023 Share [Findings] Young burglars are driven first by thrills, then by skills. Rafil Kroll-Zaidi, Harper's Magazine, 22 Nov. 2023 Couple that with two back-to-back live performances that flaunt her impressive dance skills and you’re left with a good old fashioned pure pop smash. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, 21 Nov. 2023 In photos from the event, held at the Sound View Greenport hotel in partnership with Kelsey’s beer, Kelsey and Greer, 31, could be seen proving their skills as bartenders and sharing a laugh. Kirsty Hatcher, Peoplemag, 21 Nov. 2023 These lobes are the center of many important brain functions, including language skills and the abilities to focus attention, make plans and decisions, and control impulses. Lauren J. Mapp, San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Nov. 2023 During practices, the garage is a fascinating place to appreciate the skill and high-functioning technical mastery of a high-end Formula 1 team. Corey Seymour, Vogue, 20 Nov. 2023 Much as the pocket calculator long ago caused arithmetic skills to atrophy, newer technologies have made history ubiquitous instead of chronological, let alone explanatory. Thomas Mallon, The New Yorker, 20 Nov. 2023
Related: Brain drain, skills loss, and other unintended consequences of overturning Roe v. Wade Further, the state’s ban on the use of taxpayer dollars on abortions prohibits Medicaid from being used to pay for abortions with very narrow exceptions. Emily Freeman, STAT, 13 Nov. 2023 Urban Corps is a local conservation corps whose mission is to provide young adults with the tools to expand their career opportunities through education, life skills training and paid work experience on projects that benefit the community. Linda McIntosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Nov. 2023 Creating and clarifying growth and advancement opportunities and outlining career paths and skills expansion. 4. Paige McGlauflin, Fortune, 9 Nov. 2023 Accenture has identified 12 roles that will be new or need to skill up for generative AI. Shook said most people want to learn new things and as long as organizations are transparent about where they are headed, employees will feel better about the journey. John Kell, Fortune, 17 Oct. 2023 Catholic Charities will also partner with local entities to offer full-time case management and wrap-around services to help residents work toward permanent housing including mental and medical health resources, life skills training and more. Lacey Latch, The Arizona Republic, 10 July 2023 Yet many companies are struggling to figure out how to adapt to the new world, and especially how to train and skill their workers. Paige McGlauflin, Fortune, 1 Sep. 2023 If Sterling continues to pursue her baking skills her next cake could be for her dad. Staff Author, Peoplemag, 31 Aug. 2023 Singh discovered that skills trump everything else in today’s rapidly evolving tech space. Hilary Tetenbaum, USA TODAY, 8 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'skill.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English skil, from Old Norse, distinction, knowledge; probably akin to Old English scylian to separate, sciell shell — more at shell


Middle English skilen, from Old Norse skilja to separate, divide; akin to Old Norse skil distinction

First Known Use


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3


13th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of skill was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near skill

Cite this Entry

“Skill.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


: ability that comes from training or practice
: a developed or acquired ability : accomplishment
reading skills

More from Merriam-Webster on skill

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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