Thesaurus

skillful

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of skillful

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 accomplished with trained ability
  • the ice skater performed a skillful and graceful series of jumps

Synonyms for skillful

Words Related to skillful

Near Antonyms for skillful

Antonyms for skillful

skillfulness

noun

Synonyms & Antonyms of skillfulness (Entry 2 of 2)

subtle or imaginative ability in inventing, devising, or executing something
  • the skillfulness with which she handled that touchy situation is indeed admirable

Synonyms for skillfulness

Words Related to skillfulness

Near Antonyms for skillfulness

Antonyms for skillfulness

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About skillful

How is the word skillful distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of skillful are adept, expert, proficient, and skilled. While all these words mean "having great knowledge and experience in a trade or profession," skillful implies individual dexterity in execution or performance.

skillful drivers

In what contexts can adept take the place of skillful?

While in some cases nearly identical to skillful, adept implies special aptitude as well as proficiency.

adept at doing long division

When is it sensible to use expert instead of skillful?

Although the words expert and skillful have much in common, expert implies extraordinary proficiency and often connotes knowledge as well as technical skill.

expert in the evaluation of wines

When would proficient be a good substitute for skillful?

The synonyms proficient and skillful are sometimes interchangeable, but proficient implies a thorough competence derived from training and practice.

proficient in translating foreign languages

When might skilled be a better fit than skillful?

While the synonyms skilled and skillful are close in meaning, skilled stresses mastery of technique.

a skilled surgeon

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about skillful

Time Traveler for skillful

Time Traveler

The first known use of skillful was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Cite this Entry

“Skillful.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/skillful. Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on skillful

Dictionary: Definition of skillful

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with skillful

Spanish Central: Translation of skillful

Nglish: Translation of skillful for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of skillful for Arabic Speakers

Comments on skillful

What made you want to look up skillful? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!