Thesaurus

proficient

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of proficient

(Entry 1 of 2)

proficient

noun

Synonyms & Antonyms of proficient (Entry 2 of 2)

a person with a high level of knowledge or skill in a field
  • an urgent call by the state department for proficients in Arabic

Synonyms for proficient

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Frequently Asked Questions About proficient

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

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Time Traveler for proficient

Time Traveler

The first known use of proficient was circa 1590

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Last Updated

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Proficient.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/proficient. Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on proficient

Dictionary: Definition of proficient

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with proficient

Spanish Central: Translation of proficient

Nglish: Translation of proficient for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of proficient for Arabic Speakers

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