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[skil-fuh l] /ˈskɪl fəl/
having or exercising skill:
a skillful juggler.
showing or involving skill:
a skillful display of fancy diving.
Obsolete. reasonable; rational.
Also, especially British, skilful.
Origin of skillful
1250-1300; Middle English; see skill1, -ful
Related forms
skillfully, adverb
skillfulness, noun
quasi-skillful, adjective
quasi-skillfully, adverb
1. ready, adroit, deft, adept, apt, clever, ingenious. Skillful, skilled, expert refer to readiness and adroitness in an occupation, craft, or art. Skillful suggests especially adroitness and dexterity: a skillful watchmaker. Skilled implies having had long experience and thus having acquired a high degree of proficiency: not an amateur but a skilled worker. Expert means having the highest degree of proficiency; it may mean much the same as skillful or skilled, or both: expert workmanship. See also dexterous.
1. awkward, clumsy, amateurish. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for skillful
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He was a brave and skillful soldier, eminently just, of the highest social position and a member of Parliament.

    The Greater Republic Charles Morris
  • If she were skillful and played things right, who could tell?

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • A skillful doktor in attendance who understands sowing up tares in the flesh, and removeing blak and blue spots.

  • If the Lenape are so skillful, why is one of their bravest warriors here?

    The Last of the Mohicans James Fenimore Cooper
  • With your skillful salesmanship you can stop his wavering and induce him to act as you indicate.

    Certain Success Norval A. Hawkins
Word Origin and History for skillful

also skilful, early 14c., from skill + -ful. Related: Skillfully; skilfully.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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