variants also dextrous

Synonym Chooser

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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Cite this Entry

“Dexterous.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/dexterous. Accessed 24 Jul. 2024.

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