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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
  • The value he's added for his employers is his adeptness at gaming the system.
  • The ancient brain centers for emotion also harbor the skills needed for managing ourselves effectively and for social adeptness.
  • Knowledge of essential life skills, problem solving skills, academic adeptness.
  • What is particularly worrisome about the microbe is its adeptness at developing drug resistance.
  • Work typically involves moderate physical activity, adeptness and speed in the use of fingers and hands in signing.
  • The students demonstrated their adeptness with sampling, identifying species, and using microscopes.
  • The writing program emphasizes the learning of essential skills: the writing process, editing adeptness, and research competence.
  • The staff are convinced of the importance of the utilization of attorneys who show adeptness in trying condemnation cases.
  • Knowledge of finding sources and adeptness in addressing funding issues are also necessary.
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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