- the ability, coming from one's knowledge, practice, aptitude, etc., to do something well: Carpentry was one of his many skills.
- competent excellence in performance; expertness; dexterity: The dancers performed with skill.
- a craft, trade, or job requiring manual dexterity or special training in which a person has competence and experience: the skill of cabinetmaking.
- Obsolete. understanding; discernment.
- Obsolete. reason; cause.
Origin of skill1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- to matter.
- to help; avail.
Origin of skill2
Examples from the Web for skill
As the steaks are eaten, Mount, who has some skill in these things, brings up the movie.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
Conflicts and resolutions were staged with the skill of a chessplayer working out new endgame strategies.Can Tarzan of the Apes Survive in a Post-Colonial World?
November 23, 2014
He finishes off the task he has set himself here with considerable precision and skill.How WWI Produced the Holocaust
November 21, 2014
But one of the reasons why the group has been so resilient, he said, was its skill in utilizing propaganda.ISIS Has 9,000 ‘Core Fighters.’ Or Maybe 17,000. Or Possibly 30,000.
November 6, 2014
He traces the history of ideas with skill and care, and he avoids the smug certainty of many contemporary science writers.Why Aristotle Deserves A Posthumous Nobel
October 18, 2014
The surgeon was in constant attendance, but the malady baffled all his skill.Brave and Bold
The veteran at the stern we could not see, but doubtless his skill was equally remarkable.The Roof of France
Yates was something of a wrestler himself, but his skill was of no avail on this occasion.In the Midst of Alarms
Yet I admired her skill, and did not wonder that the house applauded.The Bacillus of Beauty
To open the door for themselves was beyond their force or skill.Tales And Novels, Volume 4 (of 10)
- special ability in a task, sport, etc, esp ability acquired by training
- something, esp a trade or technique, requiring special training or manual proficiency
- obsolete understanding
Word Origin and History for skill
late 12c., "power of discernment," from Old Norse skil "distinction, ability to make out, discernment, adjustment," related to skilja (v.) "to separate; discern, understand," from Proto-Germanic *skaljo- "divide, separate" (cf. Swedish skäl "reason," Danish skjel "a separation, boundary, limit," Middle Low German schillen "to differ," Middle Low German, Middle Dutch schele "separation, discrimination;" see shell (n.)). Sense of "ability, cleverness" first recorded early 13c.