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[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 proficiently
  • Except for one big disadvantage: bows require a high degree of skill to use proficiently.
  • The author theorizes proficiently with many philosophical models.
  • Eye drops must be proficiently instilled to prevent infections following cataract surgery.
  • Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
  • Providing training programs to help members perform their duties proficiently.
  • We are competing for the same business and based on our ability to do our jobs proficiently, the same compensation.
  • Ability to operate offset printing and related equipment proficiently.
  • Aiming through the protective mask required a little adjustment, but could be done proficiently with some practice.
  • Students' mastery of subject matter rests heavily upon their ability to read proficiently.
British Dictionary definitions for proficiently


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 proficiently



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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