follow Dictionary.com

Denotation vs. Connotation

deft

[deft] /dɛft/
adjective, defter, deftest.
1.
dexterous; nimble; skillful; clever:
deft hands; a deft mechanic.
Origin of deft
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English; variant of daft
Related forms
deftly, adverb
deftness, noun
undeft, adjective
Synonyms
See dexterous.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for deftly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This little plush cushion had been deftly fashioned for him, doubtless, by some veiled Fatmah or Zorah.

  • Yet even from this rebuff he managed to deftly extract a compliment.

    James Boswell William Keith Leask
  • He remembered once being by while she replaced one of its ribs so deftly that he seemed to be looking on at a surgical operation.

    Tommy and Grizel J.M. Barrie
  • Tom deftly slipped the jack of diamonds to the bottom of the pack.

    Blazed Trail Stories Stewart Edward White
  • Her eye lighting on a gourdful of water on the puncheon table, she tore a strip from her dress and washed and bound me deftly.

    The Crossing Winston Churchill
British Dictionary definitions for deftly

deft

/dɛft/
adjective
1.
quick and neat in movement; nimble; dexterous
Derived Forms
deftly, adverb
deftness, noun
Word Origin
C13 (in the sense: gentle): see daft
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for deftly
adv.

mid-15c., from deft + -ly (2).

deft

adj.

Old English gedæfte "mild, gentle," differentiated in Middle English into daft (q.v.) and this word, via sense of "apt, skillful, adept." Cognate with Gothic gadaban "to be fit," Old Norse dafna "to grow strong," Dutch deftig "important, relevant."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for deft

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for deftly

13
13
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for deftly