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[pruh-fish-uh nt]
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  1. well-advanced or competent in any art, science, or subject; skilled: a proficient swimmer.
  1. 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 formspro·fi·cient·ly, adverbpro·fi·cient·ness, nouno·ver·pro·fi·cient, adjectiveo·ver·pro·fi·cient·ly, adverbun·der·pro·fi·cient, adjective


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1. adept, competent, experienced, accomplished, able, finished.


1. unskilled, inept.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for proficient


  1. having great facility (in an art, occupation, etc); skilled
  1. an archaic word for an expert
Derived Formsproficiency, nounproficiently, 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

Word Origin and History for proficient


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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