also dextrous adjective Etymology: Latin dextr-, dexter on the right side, skillful Date: 1609 1. mentally adroit and skillful ; clever <
her dexterous handling of the crisis
2. done with dexterity ; artful <
a dexterous maneuver
3. skillful and competent with the hands <
a dexterous surgeon
dexterously adverbdexterousness noun Synonyms: dexterous, adroit, deft mean ready and skilled in physical movement. dexterous implies expertness with consequent facility and quickness in manipulation <
unrolled the sleeping bag with a dexterous toss
. adroit implies dexterity but usually also stresses resourcefulness or artfulness or inventiveness <
the magician's adroit response to the failure of her prop won applause
. deft emphasizes lightness, neatness, and sureness of touch or handling <
a surgeon's deft manipulation of the scalpel

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dexterous — Dex ter*ous, a. [L. dexter. See {Dexter}.] [Written also {dextrous}.] 1. Ready and expert in the use of the body and limbs; skillful and active with the hands; handy; ready; as, a dexterous hand; a dexterous workman. [1913 Webster] 2. Skillful in …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dexterous — dexterous, adroit, deft, handy mean having or showing readiness and skill in the use of one s hands, limbs, or body and may also imply physical or mental readiness or skill. Dexterous implies expertness with consequent facility and agility in… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • dexterous — [deks′tər əs, deks′trəs] adj. [ DEXTER + OUS] 1. having or showing skill in the use of the hands or body 2. having or showing mental skill dexterously adv. dexterousness n. SYN. DEXTEROUS implies an expertness, natural or acquired, demonstrated… …   English World dictionary

  • dexterous — index artful, competent, deft, diplomatic, efficient, expert, facile, familiar (informed) …   Law dictionary

  • dexterous — c.1600, convenient, suitable, formed in English from L. dexter (see DEXTERITY (Cf. dexterity)) + OUS (Cf. ous). Meaning skillful, clever is from 1620s …   Etymology dictionary

  • dexterous — UK / US or dextrous UK [ˈdekst(ə)rəs] / US adjective able to use your hands skilfully …   English dictionary

  • dexterous — is preferable to dextrous. Both are pronounced dek strǝs …   Modern English usage

  • dexterous — [adj] ingenious, proficient able, active, acute, adept, adroit, agile, apt, artful, canny, clever, crack*, crackerjack*, deft, effortless, expert, facile, handy, having the know how*, masterly, neat, nimble, nimblefingered, prompt, quick, savvy,… …   New thesaurus

  • dexterous — (also dextrous) ► ADJECTIVE ▪ showing dexterity; adroit. DERIVATIVES dexterously adverb …   English terms dictionary

  • dexterous — dexterously, adv. dexterousness, n. /dek streuhs, steuhr euhs/, adj. 1. skillful or adroit in the use of the hands or body. 2. having mental adroitness or skill; clever. 3. done with skill or adroitness. 4. right handed. Also, dextrous. [1595… …   Universalium

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