[adjective uh-dept; noun ad-ept, uh-dept]


very skilled; proficient; expert: an adept juggler.

noun ad·ept [ad-ept, uh-dept] /ˈæd ɛpt, əˈdɛpt/

a skilled or proficient person; expert.

Origin of adept

1655–65; < Medieval Latin adeptus one who has attained (the secret of transmuting metals), noun use of L past participle of adipiscī to attain to (ad- ad- + -ep-, combining form of ap- in aptus apt + -tus past participle suffix)
Related formsa·dept·ly, adverba·dept·ness, nounnon·a·dept, adjectivenon·a·dept·ly, adverbnon·a·dept·ness, nounun·a·dept, adjectiveun·a·dept·ly, adverbun·a·dept·ness, noun
Can be confusedadapt adept adopt Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for adeptness

Contemporary Examples of adeptness

  • Adeptness in the performance of our values must be ever-present, but identifying and sticking with those values come first.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Liberals Need to Learn to Say No

    Bernhard Schlink

    July 10, 2014

Historical Examples of adeptness

  • He didn't handle them with the adeptness of a Belt man, but he wasn't too awkward.


    Randall Garrett

  • Some men are born with an adeptness for crime of a certain character.

    How to Become Rich

    William Windsor

  • Also his adeptness in dodging was called upon more and more.

  • His eye is always upon his neighbour's defects, and I never cease to marvel at its adeptness.

    Brother Copas

    Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

  • If so, the little trick had been done with deplorable spontaneity or adeptness of usage.

British Dictionary definitions for adeptness


adjective (əˈdɛpt)

very proficient in something requiring skill or manual dexterity
skilful; expert

noun (ˈædɛpt)

a person who is skilled or proficient in something
Derived Formsadeptly, adverbadeptness, noun

Word Origin for adept

C17: from Medieval Latin adeptus, from Latin adipiscī to attain, from ad- to + apiscī to attain
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 adeptness



"an expert," especially "one who is skilled in the secrets of anything," 1660s, from Latin adeptus (see adept (adj.)). The Latin adjective was used as a noun in this sense in Medieval Latin among alchemists.



1690s, "completely skilled" from Latin adeptus "having reached, attained," past participle of adipisci "to come up with, arrive at," figuratively "to attain to, acquire," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + apisci "grasp, attain," related to aptus "fitted" (see apt). Related: Adeptly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper