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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.
Origin of adept
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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for adeptness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Also his adeptness in dodging was called upon more and more.

    The Young Pitcher Zane Grey
  • His eye is always upon his neighbour's defects, and I never cease to marvel at its adeptness.

    Brother Copas Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • Some men are born with an adeptness for crime of a certain character.

    How to Become Rich William Windsor
  • An adeptness at discovering grievances has lately been one of the principal recommendations to public notice and popular applause.

  • And when night drew near and they made camp, what joy it was to hear her exclamations of wonder at his adeptness!

  • She answered shortly enough, and the skimming of the milk was not done with the adeptness which she usually displayed.

    The Hound From The North Ridgwell Cullum
  • He didn't handle them with the adeptness of a Belt man, but he wasn't too awkward.

    Anchorite Randall Garrett
  • If so, the little trick had been done with deplorable spontaneity or adeptness of usage.

  • Lubimoff was astonished at the way this woman spoke in all seriousness of her present adeptness.

    The Enemies of Women Vicente Blasco Ibez
British Dictionary definitions for adeptness


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 adeptness



1690s, "completely skilled" from Latin adeptus "having reached, attained," past participle of adipisci "to come up with, arrive at," figuratively "to attain to, acquire," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + apisci "grasp, attain," related to aptus "fitted" (see apt). Related: Adeptly.


"an expert," especially "one who is skilled in the secrets of anything," 1660s, from Latin adeptus (see adept (adj.)). The Latin adjective was used as a noun in this sense in Medieval Latin among alchemists.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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