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dexterous

adjective

Definition: physically quick and skillful

Synonyms: adroit, facile, handy, expert, nimble, proficient, skilled

Antonyms: clumsy, inept, incompetent, maladroit

Tips: Dexterous comes from the Latin word dexter, "skillful," literally, "on the right side." The right hand was seen as stronger than the left, hence the meaning of "skillful." The modern meaning refers to being skilled with one's hands, but can also, in some instances, refer to mental skill. The related noun dexterity denotes skill and deftness. Adroit, deft, and adept are all synonymous with dexterous. These words, however, do not have as strong of a noun form as dexterous with dexterity. Dexterity is a very powerful and sophisticated word for denoting skillfulness.

Usage Examples:

The surgeon's dexterity made the delicate laser surgery look easy. (skill, proficiency) noun

Jim's coworkers envied his dexterous evasion of the boss's boring lecture. (skillful, adroit)

It was the sculptor's amazing dexterity that enabled her to chisel the most minute details of a person's features in clay. (skill, proficiency) noun

The older woman's eyesight was diminishing, but her hands were still dexterous enough to knit the most beautiful sweaters. (nimble, skilled)


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