[ pruh-fish-uhnt ]
/ prəˈfɪʃ ənt /


well-advanced or competent in any art, science, or subject; skilled: a proficient swimmer.


an expert.

Nearby words

  1. professorship,
  2. proffer,
  3. profibrinolysin,
  4. proficiency,
  5. proficiency badge,
  6. proficiently,
  7. profile,
  8. profile component,
  9. profile drag,
  10. profiler

Origin of proficient

1580–90; < Latin prōficient- (stem of prōficiēns) present participle of prōficere to advance, make progress, equivalent to prō- pro-1 + -ficere, combining form of facere to make, do1. See -ent, efficient

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

Examples from the Web for proficient

British Dictionary definitions for proficient


/ (prəˈfɪʃənt) /


having great facility (in an art, occupation, etc); skilled


an archaic word for an expert
Derived Formsproficiency, nounproficiently, adverb

Word Origin for proficient

C16: from Latin prōficere to make progress, from pro- 1 + facere to make

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 proficient



1580s, back-formation from proficiency or else from Old French proficient (15c.), from Latin proficientem (nominative proficiens), present participle of proficere "to make progress, go forward, effect, accomplish, be useful" (see proficiency). Related: Proficiently.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper