Synonym Chooser

How is the word skilled distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of skilled are adept, expert, proficient, and skillful. While all these words mean "having great knowledge and experience in a trade or profession," skilled stresses mastery of technique.

a skilled surgeon

When might adept be a better fit than skilled?

The synonyms adept and skilled are sometimes interchangeable, but adept implies special aptitude as well as proficiency.

adept at doing long division

When can expert be used instead of skilled?

The meanings of expert and skilled largely overlap; however, expert implies extraordinary proficiency and often connotes knowledge as well as technical skill.

expert in the evaluation of wines

When is it sensible to use proficient instead of skilled?

In some situations, the words proficient and skilled are roughly equivalent. However, proficient implies a thorough competence derived from training and practice.

proficient in translating foreign languages

When could skillful be used to replace skilled?

While in some cases nearly identical to skilled, skillful implies individual dexterity in execution or performance.

skillful drivers

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Cite this Entry

“Skilled.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

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