- skill or adroitness in using the hands or body; agility.
- mental adroitness or skill; cleverness.
Origin of dexterity
Examples from the Web for dexterity
It was a reminder that regardless of how outrageous the setting may be, one cannot deny Browne's dexterity in designing clothes.The Blessing of Thom Browne Latest Collection
February 11, 2014
That kind of dexterity requires tremendous personal and political talent, which Cuccinelli lacks.Ken Cuccinelli’s Incredibly Lackluster Campaign
October 7, 2013
Cellini was remarkable for his readiness and dexterity in handicraft.Self-Help
Three or four times he lunged with incomparable dash and dexterity.The Prisoner of Zenda
It was a wonderful exhibition of strength, patience, and dexterity.The Last Voyage
Lady (Annie Allnutt) Brassey
He marveled at the dexterity with which she lifted him against her slim shoulder.Highacres
To a dexterity so fatal he added a judgment that had not failed when confronted with deceit.Whispering Smith
Frank H. Spearman
- physical, esp manual, skill or nimbleness
- mental skill or adroitness: cleverness
- rare the characteristic of being right-handed
Word Origin and History for dexterity
1520s, from Middle French dexterité (16c.), from Latin dexteritatem (nominative dexteritas) "readiness, skillfulness, prosperity," from dexter "skillful," also "right (hand)" (source of Old French destre, Spanish diestro, etc.), from PIE root *deks- "on the right hand," hence "south" to one facing east (cf. Sanskrit daksinah "on the right hand, southern, skillful;" Avestan dashina- "on the right hand;" Greek dexios "on the right hand," also "fortunate, clever;" Old Irish dess "on the right hand, southern;" Welsh deheu; Gaulish Dexsiva, name of a goddess of fortune; Gothic taihswa; Lithuanian desinas; Old Church Slavonic desnu, Russian desnoj). The Latin form is with the comparative suffix -ter, thus meaning etymologically "the better direction." Middle English dester meant "right hand," and in heraldry dexter means "on the right side."