• synonyms


[adjective uh-dept; noun ad-ept, uh-dept]
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  1. very skilled; proficient; expert: an adept juggler.
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noun ad·ept [ad-ept, uh-dept] /ˈæd ɛpt, əˈdɛpt/
  1. a skilled or proficient person; expert.
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Origin of adept

1655–65; < Medieval Latin adeptus one who has attained (the secret of transmuting metals), noun use of L past participle of adipiscī to attain to (ad- ad- + -ep-, combining form of ap- in aptus apt + -tus past participle suffix)
Related formsa·dept·ly, adverba·dept·ness, nounnon·a·dept, adjectivenon·a·dept·ly, adverbnon·a·dept·ness, nounun·a·dept, adjectiveun·a·dept·ly, adverbun·a·dept·ness, noun
Can be confusedadapt adept adopt
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for unadept

Historical Examples

  • They foresee merely results; and their handling of the means to an end often is singularly clumsy and unadept.

    The Eddy

    Clarence L. Cullen

British Dictionary definitions for unadept


adjective (əˈdɛpt)
  1. very proficient in something requiring skill or manual dexterity
  2. skilful; expert
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noun (ˈædɛpt)
  1. a person who is skilled or proficient in something
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Derived Formsadeptly, adverbadeptness, noun

Word Origin

C17: from Medieval Latin adeptus, from Latin adipiscī to attain, from ad- to + apiscī to attain
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 unadept



"an expert," especially "one who is skilled in the secrets of anything," 1660s, from Latin adeptus (see adept (adj.)). The Latin adjective was used as a noun in this sense in Medieval Latin among alchemists.

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1690s, "completely skilled" from Latin adeptus "having reached, attained," past participle of adipisci "to come up with, arrive at," figuratively "to attain to, acquire," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + apisci "grasp, attain," related to aptus "fitted" (see apt). Related: Adeptly.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper