variants: also dextrous

Synonyms & Antonyms of dexterous

1 skillful with the hands
  • the dexterous watchmaker was able to repair the antique watch's delicate gears and parts

Synonyms for dexterous

Words Related to dexterous

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Antonyms for dexterous

2 accomplished with trained ability
  • dexterous handling of a potentially embarrassing situation

Synonyms for dexterous

Words Related to dexterous

Near Antonyms for dexterous

Antonyms for dexterous

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Frequently Asked Questions About dexterous

How is the word dexterous different from other adjectives like it?

The words adroit and deft are common synonyms of dexterous. While all three words mean "ready and skilled in physical movement," dexterous implies expertness with consequent facility and quickness in manipulation.

unrolled the sleeping bag with a dexterous toss

In what contexts can adroit take the place of dexterous?

The words adroit and dexterous can be used in similar contexts, but adroit implies dexterity but usually also stresses resourcefulness or artfulness or inventiveness.

the magician's adroit response to the failure of her prop won applause

Where would deft be a reasonable alternative to dexterous?

While in some cases nearly identical to dexterous, deft emphasizes lightness, neatness, and sureness of touch or handling.

a surgeon's deft manipulation of the scalpel

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Time Traveler for dexterous

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The first known use of dexterous was in 1609

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Cite this Entry

“Dexterous.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on dexterous

Nglish: Translation of dexterous for Spanish Speakers


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