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See more synonyms for skilled on Thesaurus.com
  1. having skill; trained or experienced in work that requires skill.
  2. showing, involving, or requiring skill, as certain work.
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Origin of skilled

First recorded in 1545–55; skill1 + -ed3
Related formsmul·ti·skilled, adjectivenon·skilled, adjectiveo·ver·skilled, adjectiveun·der·skilled, adjectivewell-skilled, adjective

Synonym study

1. See skillful.


verb (used without object) Archaic.
  1. to matter.
  2. to help; avail.
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Origin of skill2

1150–1200; Middle English skilien < Old Norse skilja to distinguish, divide, akin to skil (see skill1), Old English scylian to separate, Gothic skilja butcher, Lithuanian skélti to split
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for skilled

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The youth's pale face flushed with the pride of the skilled workman.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Canst not give a name to it, and thou so skilled in leech-craft?

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Take, for example, the prescience of a skilled business man.

  • He was a skilled man at this, none more so; nevertheless he failed.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • Some scratch a little deeper than those who aren't so skilled or so strong.


    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

British Dictionary definitions for skilled


  1. possessing or demonstrating accomplishment, skill, or special training
  2. (prenominal) involving skill or special traininga skilled job
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  1. special ability in a task, sport, etc, esp ability acquired by training
  2. something, esp a trade or technique, requiring special training or manual proficiency
  3. obsolete understanding
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Derived Formsskill-less or skilless, adjective

Word Origin

C12: from Old Norse skil distinction; related to Middle Low German schēle, Middle Dutch geschil difference
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 skilled


past participle adjective from skill (v.) "to have personal and practical knowledge" (c.1200), from Old Norse skilja "separate, part, divide; break off, break up; part company, take leave; discern, distinguish; understand, find out; decide, settle," from the source of skill (n.).

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late 12c., "power of discernment," from Old Norse skil "distinction, ability to make out, discernment, adjustment," related to skilja (v.) "to separate; discern, understand," from Proto-Germanic *skaljo- "divide, separate" (cf. Swedish skäl "reason," Danish skjel "a separation, boundary, limit," Middle Low German schillen "to differ," Middle Low German, Middle Dutch schele "separation, discrimination;" see shell (n.)). Sense of "ability, cleverness" first recorded early 13c.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper