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  1. expert or nimble in the use of the hands or body.
  2. cleverly skillful, resourceful, or ingenious: an adroit debater.
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Origin of adroit

1645–55; < French, Old French: elegant, skillful, equivalent to a- a-5 + droit, dreit straight, just, correct < Latin dīrēctus; see direct
Related formsa·droit·ly, adverba·droit·ness, nounun·a·droit, adjectiveun·a·droit·ly, adverbun·a·droit·ness, noun
Can be confusedadroit à droite


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1, 2. See dexterous.


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

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British Dictionary definitions for adroit


  1. skilful or dexterous
  2. quick in thought or reaction
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Derived Formsadroitly, adverbadroitness, noun

Word Origin

C17: from French à droit according to right, rightly
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 adroit


1650s, "dexterous," originally "rightly," from French adroit, from phrase à droit "according to right," from Old French à "to" (see ad-) + droit "right," from Late Latin directum "right, justice," accusative of Latin directus "straight" (see direct (v.)). Related: Adroitly; adroitness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper