• synonyms


  1. skillful; dexterous; adroit.
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Origin of habile

1375–1425; late Middle English habyll < Latin habilis handy, apt; see able
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for habile

Historical Examples

  • From French, "habile," in which we see the etymology of "able."

    Letters of Samuel Rutherford

    Samuel Rutherford

  • The habile Major descried the party the instant he entered the room, and led the lady directly to it.

    The Widow Barnaby

    Frances Trollope

  • The Indian must yield to them in this knowledge, and even the habile sailor makes but a clumsy knot in comparison.

    The White Chief

    Mayne Reid

  • Whether in his study of political problems, his pictures of people, or his sketches of scenery, he is equally keen and habile.

British Dictionary definitions for habile


  1. rare skilful
  2. obsolete fit
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Word Origin

C14: from Latin habilis, from habēre to have; see able
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