proficient

proficient, adept, skilled, skillful, expert, masterly are comparable when they mean having the knowledge and experience necessary to success in a given line especially of work or endeavor. When applied to things rather than persons, all these terms carry the implication that the quality of the person has been attributed to the thing.
Proficient implies training and practice as the source of competency beyond the average (proficient in the art of self-defense— Shaw)
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Jane began to type. It bored her, but she was fairly proficient at it— Rose Macaulay

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Adept implies proficiency but stresses aptitude and often cleverness
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adept at legerdemain

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so adept at the lovely polishing of every grave and lucent phrase— Gibbons

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Skilled, often interchangeable with proficient, may distinctively suggest mastery of the details of a trade or handicraft or of the technique of an art or profession. In modern industrial use skilled simply connotes that one has met a standard set up by employers for a special type of work or job
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skilled labor

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the skilled trades

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by long practice, he was skilled in the arts of teaching— Gibbon

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professors, students, and skilled employees make a varied assault upon the mysteries of marine biology— Parshley

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Skillful implies adeptness coupled with dexterity in execution or performance
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a skillful operator of an automobile

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a skillful teacher

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in little danger with a skillful hand at the helm— Nordhoff & Hall

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the solution achieved by a skillful minority in face of a hostile majority— Parrington

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Expert applies to one who has attained extraordinary proficiency or is exceptionally adept
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an expert accountant

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an expert bridge player

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expert knowledge of engines

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neither of them was expert in the roping of cattle— Mary Austin

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explaining at length, but with an expert lucidity, some basic point of law— Edmund Wilson

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Masterly, applied more often to the thing executed or the quality displayed than to the person who executes or displays, is close to expert in its implication of proficiency and adeptness, but it commonly adds a suggestion of confident control
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he compressed into the masterly introductory essays ... his entire theory of the progress of the United States— Bidwell

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his masterly dissimulation— Motley

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how masterly is he in all the points of his profession— Trollope

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Analogous words: efficient, effectual, *effective: capable, *able, competent, qualified: finished, accomplished, *consummate: practiced, drilled, exercised (see PRACTICE vb)
Contrasted words: *awkward, clumsy, maladroit, inept, gauche: *ignorant, untaught

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • proficient — pro‧fi‧cient [prəˈfɪʆnt] adjective able to do something skilfully and well: • As standards rise, less proficient pilots won t be hired. proficient in/​at • To do a multimedia presentation you need to be proficient in public speaking. * * *… …   Financial and business terms

  • Proficient — Pro*fi cient, n. [L. proficiens, entis, p. pr. of proficere to go forward, make progress; pro forward + facere to make. See {Fact}, and cf. {Profit}, (?)] One who has made considerable advances in any business, art, science, or branch of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Proficient — Pro*fi cient, a. Well advanced in any branch of knowledge or skill; possessed of considerable acquirements; well skilled; versed; adept, [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • proficient — I adjective able, accomplished, adept, adequate, adroit, advanced, capable, clever, competent, conversant, cunning, deft, dexterous, effective, efficacious, efficient, equal to, excellent, experienced, expert, facile, good, habilitated, handy,… …   Law dictionary

  • proficient — (adj.) 1580s, from L. proficientem (nom. proficiens), prp. of proficere to make progress, be useful (see PROFICIENCY (Cf. proficiency)). Related: Proficiently …   Etymology dictionary

  • proficient — [adj] able, skilled accomplished, adept, apt, capable, clever, competent, consummate, conversant, crack*, crackerjack*, drilled, effective, effectual, efficient, exercised, experienced, expert, finished, gifted, on the beam*, phenom, pro,… …   New thesaurus

  • proficient — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ competent; skilled. DERIVATIVES proficiency noun proficiently adverb. ORIGIN from Latin proficere to advance …   English terms dictionary

  • proficient — [prō fish′ənt, prəfish′ənt] adj. [L proficiens, prp. of proficere, to advance < pro , forward + facere, to make: see PRO 2 & DO1] highly competent; skilled; adept n. an expert proficiency [prō fish′ən sē, prə fish′ən sē] n. pl. proficies prof …   English World dictionary

  • proficient — adjective Etymology: Latin proficient , proficiens, present participle of proficere to go forward, accomplish, from pro forward + facere to make more at pro , do Date: circa 1590 well advanced in an art, occupation, or branch of knowledge •… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • proficient — adj. VERBS ▪ be, seem ▪ become ADVERB ▪ extremely, fairly, very, etc …   Collocations dictionary

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