9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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
  • They are skillful hunters that stalk their prey on the ground and from branches of trees.
  • The cute little creature requires a lot of ingenuity to foil because he is persistent, intelligent, and skillful.
  • Depending upon how sophisticated and skillful you are, you can ape the mannerisms of a famous author as an inside joke.
  • The error is in using speculative happy thoughts related to the crisis as examples of skillful redirection.
  • Remember, even the skillful can lose, so marbles also teach about calculating risks and when to take chances.
  • skillful liars try to mimic honesty, as the article suggests.
  • Much of our current food, such as corn, comes from some skillful breeding and selection done long ago.
  • He was a regular reader of biographies and, he knew, a skillful writer.
  • Disreputable developers, environmental devastation, overwrought characters and skillful farce.
  • He has a strong work ethic, is a great teacher of the game and is skillful at relating to his players.
British Dictionary definitions for skillful


possessing or displaying accomplishment or skill
involving or requiring accomplishment or skill
Derived Forms
skilfully, (US) skillfully, adverb
skilfulness, (US) skillfulness, noun
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 skillful

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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