adroit

Someone who is adroit is clever and skillful. An adroit leader will be able to persuade people to go with his ideas. An adroit sculptor can turn a lump of clay into an object of great beauty.

If you've ever studied French you know that droit means "right," both as in "right of free speech" and as in "left and right," and à droit means both "turn right" and "properly." Once English people borrowed à droit, they changed the meaning slightly, from doing something "properly" to "doing something well." You may have heard the expression "surprisingly adroit," as in, "For a guy whose wife does all the cooking, he is surprisingly adroit in the kitchen."

DEFINITIONS OF: adroit

1

adj quick or skillful or adept in action or thought

“an exceptionally adroit pianist”
“an adroit technician”
“his adroit replies to hecklers won him many followers”
“an adroit negotiator”
Synonyms
clean, neat
free from clumsiness; precisely or deftly executed
clever, cunning, ingenious
showing inventiveness and skill
co-ordinated, coordinated
being dexterous in the use of more than one set of muscle movements
deft, dexterous, dextrous
skillful in physical movements; especially of the hands
handy
skillful with the hands
light-fingered, nimble-fingered
having nimble fingers literally or figuratively; especially for stealing or picking pockets
quick-witted
mentally nimble and resourceful
artful
marked by skill in achieving a desired end especially with cunning or craft
Antonyms:
maladroit
not adroit
bumbling, bungling, butterfingered, ham-fisted, ham-handed, handless, heavy-handed, left-handed
lacking physical movement skills, especially with the hands
inept, tactless
revealing lack of perceptiveness or judgment or finesse
uncoordinated
lacking the skillful and effective interaction of muscle movements
nonmechanical, unmechanical
(of a person) lacking mechanical skills
awkward
lacking grace or skill in manner or movement or performance
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