exceptional valor, bravery, or ability, especially in combat or battle.
exceptional or superior ability, skill, or strength: his prowess as a public speaker.
a valiant or daring deed.

Origin of prowess

1250–1300; Middle English < Old French proesse, proece goodness, bravery, equivalent to prou prow2 + -esse < Latin -itia -ice
Related formsprow·essed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for prowess

Contemporary Examples of prowess

Historical Examples of prowess

  • But speedily now shall I prove him the prowess and pride of the Geats, shall bid him battle.



  • He leered at her as though expecting her to flame at his prowess.

    Louisiana Lou

    William West Winter

  • So that at this date they regarded their prowess as invincible.



  • The prowess of women has often been conspicuous in besieged cities.

  • I will tell you of my prowess and exploits, and what I can perform.

    The Indian Fairy Book

    Cornelius Mathews

British Dictionary definitions for prowess



outstanding or superior skill or ability
bravery or fearlessness, esp in battle

Word Origin for prowess

C13: from Old French proesce, from prou good; see proud
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 prowess

late 13c., prouesse, from Old French proece "prowess, courage, brave deed" (Modern French prouesse), from prou, later variant of prud "brave, valiant," from Vulgar Latin *prodem (cf. Spanish proeza, Italian prodezza; see proud). Prow was in Middle English as a noun meaning "advantage, profit," also as a related adjective ("valiant, brave"), but it has become obsolete. "In 15-17th c. often a monosyllable" [OED].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper