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[adj. uh-dept; n. ad-ept, uh-dept] /adj. əˈdɛpt; n. ˈæd ɛpt, əˈdɛpt/
very skilled; proficient; expert:
an adept juggler.
noun, adept
a skilled or proficient person; expert.
1655-65; < Medieval Latin adeptus one who has attained (the secret of transmuting metals), noun use of L past participle of adipiscī to attain to (ad- ad- + -ep-, combining form of ap- in aptus apt + -tus past participle suffix)
Related forms
adeptly, adverb
adeptness, noun
nonadept, adjective
nonadeptly, adverb
nonadeptness, noun
unadept, adjective
unadeptly, adverb
unadeptness, noun
Can be confused
adapt, adept, adopt. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for adept
  • Indeed, the human brain is more adept at comparing lengths than areas.
  • She is also a shrewd consensus builder, adept at winning local support.
  • The priestly king Numa passed for an adept in the art of drawing down lightning from the sky.
  • Daily training at these schools was focused on becoming adept in the use of the sword, bow and arrow, spear and tonki.
  • He became so adept with the brush that his paintings show more spontaneity than most of his contemporaries.
  • Everyone else was more popular, more socially adept, than I'd ever been.
  • He is adept at both the bold generalization and the nice distinction.
  • That might prove to be key, as oldsters are adept at using a regular pushbutton phone.
  • One of America's most lucid critics of poetry, uniquely adept at close reading, she is also among the genre's great advocates.
  • Alice is particularly adept at making technology work for her.
British Dictionary definitions for adept


adjective (əˈdɛpt)
very proficient in something requiring skill or manual dexterity
skilful; expert
noun (ˈædɛpt)
a person who is skilled or proficient in something
Derived Forms
adeptly, adverb
adeptness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Medieval Latin adeptus, from Latin adipiscī to attain, from ad- to + apiscī to attain
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for adept
1660s (n.), 1690s (adj.), from L. adeptus "having reached, attained," pp. of adipisci "to attain to, acquire," from ad- "to" + apisci "grasp, attain," related to aptus "fitted" (see apt). Noun meaning "one who is skilled in the secrets of anything" is from a M.L. use in alchemy.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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