Definition of deft in English:

deft

Line breaks: deft
Pronunciation: /dɛft
 
/

adjective

1Neatly skilful and quick in one’s movements: a deft piece of footwork
More example sentences
  • Then, with a quick and deft movement, Viktor slapped Erik hard across the face.
  • We were even regaled by a lovely Thai dancer whose deft hand movements and graceful demeanour enthralled the group.
  • Women carrying babies, dancing in groups, peeling fresh pineapples with a few deft movements.
1.1Demonstrating skill and cleverness: the script was both deft and literate
More example sentences
  • She also demonstrated a deft skill in reporting on daily activity.
  • If it sounds unbearable, then my deft skill at description remains tip top.
  • Adding a touch of thrill to the programme was a magic show by students who amazed visitors with their deft skills.
Synonyms
clever, shrewd, astute, canny, sharp, artful
informal nifty, nippy, mean, wicked, ace, wizard, crack, genius
rare habile

Origin

Middle English: variant of daft, in the obsolete sense 'meek'.

Derivatives

deftly

adverb
More example sentences
  • She avoided them deftly and strode briskly up the hill, where her motorcycle was hidden.
  • While she handles humour deftly, her writing really shines when examining the interaction between men and women.
  • He deftly removes an overgrown branch without leaving a scar on the tree.

deftness

noun
More example sentences
  • A post-graduate in music and law, he handled the only percussion instrument to be featured with deftness of a master.
  • If you want a memoir where you're swept along by verbal deftness and narrative skill, look elsewhere.
  • Military strength is part of that power, but so is diplomatic deftness.

Definition of deft in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day jaunty
Pronunciation: ˈdʒɔːnti
adjective
having a lively, cheerful, and self-confident manner...