9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[pruh-fish-uh nt] /prəˈfɪʃ ənt/
well-advanced or competent in any art, science, or subject; skilled:
a proficient swimmer.
an expert.
Origin of proficient
1580-90; < Latin prōficient- (stem of prōficiēns) present participle of prōficere to advance, make progress, equivalent to prō- pro-1 + -ficere, combining form of facere to make, do1. See -ent, efficient
Related forms
proficiently, adverb
proficientness, noun
overproficient, adjective
overproficiently, adverb
underproficient, adjective
1. adept, competent, experienced, accomplished, able, finished.
1. unskilled, inept. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for proficient
  • The more the monks fought, the more proficient they became as fighters, and the more their fame grew.
  • Despite their challenge, many become proficient at geometry, stats and computer programming.
  • Seeing that you all are obviously so proficient in drug and narcotic detection, you must also excel at search and rescue.
  • Individual brain training games don't make you smarter-they make you more proficient at the brain training games.
  • He worked as a highly proficient grinder of lenses for telescopes and microscopes while pursuing his philosophical interests.
  • Our world is, thanks to these begrudged tax dollars, more tactically proficient at any given time than theirs.
  • He had been proficient at sports, playing baseball and basketball, and he'd been a drummer.
  • On the fourth day, both groups were tested on how proficient they had become at identifying the orientation of the diagonal bars.
  • He was proficient with bow and arrow, and entertained the crowd by shooting at a target.
British Dictionary definitions for proficient


having great facility (in an art, occupation, etc); skilled
an archaic word for an expert
Derived Forms
proficiency, noun
proficiently, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Latin prōficere to make progress, from pro-1 + facere to make
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 proficient

1580s, back-formation from proficiency or else from Old French proficient (15c.), from Latin proficientem (nominative proficiens), present participle of proficere "to make progress, go forward, effect, accomplish, be useful" (see proficiency). Related: Proficiently.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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