proficient 1 of 2

as in skilled
having or showing exceptional knowledge, experience, or skill in a field of endeavor she is quite proficient at computer repair a proficient rendition of a difficult piano piece

Synonyms & Similar Words


Antonyms & Near Antonyms


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Synonym Chooser

How is the word proficient distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of proficient are adept, expert, skilled, and skillful. While all these words 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

When might adept be a better fit than proficient?

In some situations, the words adept and proficient are roughly equivalent. However, adept implies special aptitude as well as proficiency.

adept at doing long division

When could expert be used to replace proficient?

The words expert and proficient can be used in similar contexts, but expert implies extraordinary proficiency and often connotes knowledge as well as technical skill.

expert in the evaluation of wines

In what contexts can skilled take the place of proficient?

The synonyms skilled and proficient are sometimes interchangeable, but skilled stresses mastery of technique.

a skilled surgeon

When is it sensible to use skillful instead of proficient?

While the synonyms skillful and proficient are close in meaning, skillful implies individual dexterity in execution or performance.

skillful drivers


Thesaurus Entries Near proficient

Cite this Entry

“Proficient.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on proficient

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