Skill Skill, n. [Icel. skil a distinction, discernment; akin to skilja to separate, divide, distinguish, Sw. skilja,. skille to separate, skiel reason, right, justice, Sw. sk["a]l reason, Lith. skelli to cleave. Cf. {Shell}, {Shoal}, a multitude.] 1. Discrimination; judgment; propriety; reason; cause. [Obs.] --Shak. ``As it was skill and right.'' --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

For great skill is, he prove that he wrought. [For with good reason he should test what he created.] --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

2. Knowledge; understanding. [Obsoles.] [1913 Webster]

That by his fellowship he color might Both his estate and love from skill of any wight. --Spenser. [1913 Webster]

Nor want we skill or art. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

3. The familiar knowledge of any art or science, united with readiness and dexterity in execution or performance, or in the application of the art or science to practical purposes; power to discern and execute; ability to perceive and perform; expertness; aptitude; as, the skill of a mathematician, physician, surgeon, mechanic, etc. [1913 Webster]

Phocion, . . . by his great wisdom and skill at negotiations, diverted Alexander from the conquest of Athens. --Swift. [1913 Webster]

Where patience her sweet skill imparts. --Keble. [1913 Webster]

4. Display of art; exercise of ability; contrivance; address. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

Richard . . . by a thousand princely skills, gathering so much corn as if he meant not to return. --Fuller. [1913 Webster]

5. Any particular art. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

Learned in one skill, and in another kind of learning unskillful. --Hooker. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Dexterity; adroitness; expertness; art; aptitude; ability.

Usage: {Skill}, {Dexterity}, {Adroitness}. Skill is more intelligent, denoting familiar knowledge united to readiness of performance. Dexterity, when applied to the body, is more mechanical, and refers to habitual ease of execution. Adroitness involves the same image with dexterity, and differs from it as implaying a general facility of movement (especially in avoidance of danger or in escaping from a difficalty). The same distinctions apply to the figurative sense of the words. A man is skillful in any employment when he understands both its theory and its practice. He is dexterous when he maneuvers with great lightness. He is adroit in the use od quick, sudden, and well-directed movements of the body or the mind, so as to effect the object he has in view. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • skill — W1S3 [skıl] n [U and C] [Date: 1100 1200; : Old Norse; Origin: skil good judgment, knowledge ] an ability to do something well, especially because you have learned and practised it →↑talent ▪ Reading and writing are two different skills. ▪ Many… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • skill — [ skıl ] noun *** uncount the ability to do something well, usually as a result of experience and training: Most people trust in the skill and dedication of the nursing staff. skill at/in: The committee needs someone who has some skill in… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Skill — Skill, v. t. To know; to understand. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] To skill the arts of expressing our mind. Barrow. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Skill — Skill, v. i. 1. To be knowing; to have understanding; to be dexterous in performance. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] I can not skill of these thy ways. Herbert. [1913 Webster] 2. To make a difference; to signify; to matter; used impersonally. Spenser.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • skill — I noun ability, adeptness, adroitness, aptitude, aptness, art, artistry, cleverness, command, competence, craft, cunning, deftness, dexterity, ease, endowment, excellence, experience, expertness, facility, felicity, finesse, fluency, gift,… …   Law dictionary

  • skill — late 12c., power of discernment, from O.N. skil distinction, discernment, related to skilja (v.) distinguish, separate, from P.Gmc. *skaljo divide, separate (Cf. M.L.G. schillen to differ; M.L.G., M.Du. schele difference; see SHELL (Cf. shell)).… …   Etymology dictionary

  • skill — *art, cunning, craft, artifice Analogous words: proficiency, adeptness, expertness (see corresponding adjectives at PROFICIENT): efficiency, effectiveness (see corresponding adjectives at EFFECTIVE): *readiness, facility, dexterity, ease …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • skill — [n] ability, talent to do something accomplishment, address, adroitness, aptitude, art, artistry, cleverness, clout, command, competence, craft, cunning, deftness, dexterity, dodge*, ease, experience, expertise, expertism, expertness, facility,… …   New thesaurus

  • skill — ► NOUN 1) the ability to do something well; expertise or dexterity. 2) a particular ability. ► VERB (usu. as noun skilling) ▪ train (a worker) to do a particular task. ORIGIN Old Norse, discernment, knowledge …   English terms dictionary

  • skill — [skil] n. [ME, discernment, reason < ON skil, distinction, akin to skilja, to cut apart, separate < IE base * (s)kel , to cut (> SHIELD, SHELL): basic sense “ability to separate,” hence “discernment”] 1. great ability or proficiency;… …   English World dictionary

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