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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 skillfully
  • They play so skillfully with the overtones of criticism because they know the fundamental tones so well.
  • Some of the statues would have been skillfully painted by professionals.
  • Whether it is filled ineptly or skillfully was, for him, the vital question.
  • As nearly any elementary schoolteacher can attest, it is possible to decode skillfully yet struggle with comprehension.
  • But making and using shortcuts skillfully and responsibly requires judgment, too.
  • The point is to learn how to use the tool skillfully for good.
  • The best course of action you can take is to do your research, teaching, and service as skillfully as possible.
  • The more your people are interconnected and work skillfully with each other, the more effective they are.
  • In each section, they skillfully describe the issues at hand and present possible solutions.
  • But in fact these were dance bands, and they earned their popularity by generating or skillfully responding to dance crazes.
Word Origin and History for skillfully



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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