deft

[deft]

adjective, deft·er, deft·est.

dexterous; nimble; skillful; clever: deft hands; a deft mechanic.

Origin of deft

1175–1225; Middle English; variant of daft
Related formsdeft·ly, adverbdeft·ness, nounun·deft, adjective

Synonym study

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for deftness

nimbleness, adeptness, adroitness, sleight, skill, swiftness

Examples from the Web for deftness

Contemporary Examples of deftness

Historical Examples of deftness


British Dictionary definitions for deftness

deft

adjective

quick and neat in movement; nimble; dexterous
Derived Formsdeftly, adverbdeftness, noun

Word Origin for deft

C13 (in the sense: gentle): see daft
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 deftness

deft

adj.

Old English gedæfte "mild, gentle," differentiated in Middle English into daft (q.v.) and this word, via sense of "apt, skillful, adept." Cognate with Gothic gadaban "to be fit," Old Norse dafna "to grow strong," Dutch deftig "important, relevant."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper