• synonyms


[skil-fuh l]
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  1. having or exercising skill: a skillful juggler.
  2. showing or involving skill: a skillful display of fancy diving.
  3. Obsolete. reasonable; rational.
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Also especially British, skil·ful.

Origin of skillful

Middle English word dating back to 1250–1300; see origin at skill1, -ful
Related formsskill·ful·ly, adverbskill·ful·ness, nounqua·si-skill·ful, adjectivequa·si-skill·ful·ly, adverb


See more synonyms for skillful on Thesaurus.com
1. ready, adroit, deft, adept, apt, clever, ingenious.

Synonym study

1. Skillful, skilled, expert refer to readiness and adroitness in an occupation, craft, or art. Skillful suggests especially adroitness and dexterity: a skillful watchmaker. Skilled implies having had long experience and thus having acquired a high degree of proficiency: not an amateur but a skilled worker. Expert means having the highest degree of proficiency; it may mean much the same as skillful or skilled, or both: expert workmanship. See also dexterous.


1. awkward, clumsy, amateurish.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Word Origin and History for skill-fulness



also skilful, early 14c., from skill + -ful. Related: Skillfully; skilfully.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper