\ ə-ˈdept How to pronounce adept (audio) also ˈa-ˌdept How to pronounce adept (audio) \

Essential Meaning of adept

: very good at doing something that is not easy He's adept in several languages. politically adept

Full Definition of adept

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: thoroughly proficient : expert an adept negotiator He's adept at fixing computers.


ad·​ept | \ ˈa-ˌdept How to pronounce adept (audio) , ə-ˈdept How to pronounce adept (audio) , a-ˈdept \

Definition of adept (Entry 2 of 2)

: a highly skilled or well-trained individual : expert an adept at chess

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Other Words from adept


adeptly \ ə-​ˈdep-​(t)lē How to pronounce adept (audio) , a-​ \ adverb
She dealt with the changes adeptly.
adeptness \ ə-​ˈdep(t)-​nəs How to pronounce adept (audio) , a-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for adept


proficient, adept, skilled, skillful, expert 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 adept implies special aptitude as well as proficiency. adept at doing long division skilled stresses mastery of technique. a skilled surgeon skillful implies individual dexterity in execution or performance. skillful drivers expert implies extraordinary proficiency and often connotes knowledge as well as technical skill. expert in the evaluation of wines

Examples of adept in a Sentence

Adjective Madison, Jefferson's lifelong friend, collaborator, and political ally, was quizzical and skeptical. His mind was less capacious and less elevated than Jefferson's, but more … original, and instinctively contrary. Less learned than Jefferson, his verbal skills inferior, he was almost pedantically alert to inner complications, and so, though less adept a politician, he was more consistent. — Bernard Bailyn, To Begin the World Anew, 2003 Three small figurines carved of ivory from mammoth tusks have been found in a cave in southwestern Germany, providing stronger evidence that human ancestors were already adept at figurative art more than 30,000 years ago, an archaeologist is reporting today. — John Noble Wilford, New York Times, 18 Dec. 2003 The Angels exploited center-fielder Bernie Williams's weak throwing arm in the division series against the Yankees and are adept at scampering from first to third on hits to the outfield. — Jack Curry, New York Times, 20 Oct. 2002 Barnum was especially adept at pulling back one curtain after another, keeping the audience in a state of panting uncertainty, perpetually postponing the revelation of what was "really" going on. — Jackson Lears, New Republic, 12 Nov. 2001 He's adept in several languages. he's an adept pitcher, and the team is lucky to have him Noun Once safely back in Paris, and having attained his majority, the poet squandered his inheritance with an adept's fervor … — Nicholas Delbanco, Harper's, September 2004 They recruited computational chemists, software engineers, AI experts, and various other computer adepts, all of whom put their monster minds together to create an automated reasoning system that could inspect vast amounts of chemical data quickly and point the finger at potential new drug compounds. — Ed Regis, Wired, June 2000 even by the standards of Washington, he's an adept at political intrigue and power politics
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective This makes the variant particularly adept at exploiting opportunities for transmission — the crowded nightclub, the classroom with an unmasked teacher., 1 Sep. 2021 Fashion designers are particularly adept at salvaging goods destined for the landfill, Neubauer notes. Anne Quito, Quartz, 29 June 2021 Schwartz opined that Kendall will be particularly adept at making sure the Air Force’s programs deliver. Abraham Mahshie, Washington Examiner, 2 May 2021 Both are smart, sure-handed and particularly adept at gaining yardage after the catch. Los Angeles Times, 19 Apr. 2021 Both camps have become ideologically tribal, and Mr. Trump was particularly adept at exploiting the desire to find fellowship in grievance. Rahm Emanuel, WSJ, 28 Dec. 2020 This fall, Portland International Airport traffic is expected to be around 70% of its pre-pandemic levels, the Port of Portland reports, with newly Zoom-adept business travelers likely making up the missing chunk. Michael Russell, oregonlive, 1 Oct. 2021 Kindt, a veteran writer adept at delivering intelligent thrillers like Mind MGMT and Super Spy, serves up a suitably intriguing script with plenty of opportunity for action. Rob Salkowitz, Forbes, 29 Sep. 2021 The series steered into the emotional momentum created by #MeToo and found an audience adept at using social media to amplify important stories. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, 28 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Andela is now accepting applications from senior developers across the continent adept in the most in-demand web frameworks and program languages. Yomi Kazeem, Quartz Africa, 1 July 2020 Last season, Brown averaged 20.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists while proving adept at penetrating and getting to the free throw line. Bruce Pascoe, azcentral, 6 Apr. 2020 Trump, another New York billionaire adept in handling the hometown press, took particular glee in watching Bloomberg's performance Wednesday, two people who spoke to him said. Anchorage Daily News, 21 Feb. 2020 Unlike Greta Gerwig, who reimagined Little Women and gave it a contemporary subtext, de Wilde and Catton deliver a largely faithful and unchallenging adaptation, beautifully staged and sharply acted by a cast adept at balancing wit and romance. Caryn James, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Feb. 2020 From those who know him well, Calhoun gets high marks as both a smooth operator, adept at making the numbers work, and as a kind of Mr. Fix-It. Erik Sherman, Fortune, 13 Jan. 2020 The Bills addressed some of Allen’s needs by adding John Brown, a dangerous deep threat, and Cole Beasley, who’s adept at getting open on short and intermediate routes. Bennie Contrino, Sports Illustrated, 14 June 2019 As ever, Mr Putin proved adept at taking advantage of American mistakes. The Economist, 24 Oct. 2019 Brain activity of the creative adepts and controls was similar when imagining the next 24 hours but to the researchers’ surprise, the creative group alone engaged the dorsomedial default network when imagining events further into the future. Knvul Sheikh, Scientific American, 22 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'adept.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of adept


1698, in the meaning defined above


1674, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for adept


derivative of adept entry 2


borrowed from New Latin adeptus "one who has attained a high degree of proficiency (as in alchemy or hermetic philosophy)," going back to Latin, "having attained," past participle of adipīscī "to arrive at, attain," from ad- ad- + apīscī "to seize hold of, obtain," perhaps an inchoative derivative from the base of apere "to join" — more at apt entry 1

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Last Updated

16 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Adept.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for adept


ad·​ept | \ ə-ˈdept How to pronounce adept (audio) \

Kids Definition of adept

: very good at something adept at swimming

Other Words from adept

adeptly adverb
adeptness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on adept

Nglish: Translation of adept for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of adept for Arabic Speakers


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