Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Skillful in the use of the hands.
  • adj. Having mental skill or adroitness.
  • adj. Done with dexterity.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Skillful with one's hands.
  • adj. Skillful in some specific thing
  • adj. Agile; flexible; able to move fluidly and gracefully.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Ready and expert in the use of the body and limbs; skillful and active with the hands; handy; ready
  • adj. Skillful in contrivance; quick at inventing expedients; expert.
  • adj. Done with dexterity; skillful; artful.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having greater skill in using the right hand than the left; right-handed.
  • Possessing manual skill; hence, skilful or adroit in the use of the body in general; quick and precise in action.
  • Having mental adroitness or skill; ready in the use of the mental faculties; prompt in contrivance and management; clever; expert: as, a dexterous manager.
  • Exhibiting dexterity, in any sense; skilful; artful; clever: as, dexterous management.
  • Synonyms Expert, Skilful, etc. (see adroit), nimble, brisk, agile.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. skillful in physical movements; especially of the hands

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

From Latin dexter, skillful; see dexter.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin dexter ("right, ready").

Examples

  • In fact, I got into trouble recently because of "dexterous"--or rather, because I told someone that a left-handed person can't technically be dexterous.

    Ferule & Fescue

  • He laughed with everybody who would exchange a laugh with him, shook hands right and left, with what may be certainly called a dexterous cordiality; made his appearance at the market-day and the farmers 'ordinary; and, in fine, acted like a consummate hypocrite, and as gentlemen of the highest birth and most spotless integrity act when they wish to make themselves agreeable to their constituents, and have some end to gain of the country-folks.

    The History of Pendennis

  • He laughed with every body who would exchange a laugh with him, shook hands right and left, with what may be certainly called a dexterous cordiality; made his appearance at the market-day and the farmers 'ordinary; and, in fine, acted like a consummate hypocrite, and as gentlemen of the highest birth and most spotless integrity act when they wish to make themselves agreeable to their constituents, and have some end to gain of the country folks.

    The History of Pendennis, Volume 2 His Fortunes and Misfortunes, His Friends and His Greatest Enemy

  • Second, an IBM survey of some 1,500 global CEOs noted that the biggest challenges they faced had to do with the ability of their organizations to relate to diverse corporate stakeholders; the ability to foster "dexterous" organizations that could act quickly, change as needed, and be self-correcting in a bottoms-up rather than top-down approach; and the ability to generate creativity throughout all aspects of a company's business.

    Charles Kolb: The Building Blocks of Corporate Statesmanship

  • It isn't for nothing that we speak about "the right answer" and not the left one, why the Latin dexter (right) gives us "dexterous" but the Latin sinister (left) gives us, well, "sinister."

    Right is Right ... Except for Lefties

  • The work-droid can easily handle 20lb weights in Earth gravity, which is said to be well in excess of what other "dexterous" robots can manage.

    The Register

  • The word for right is dexter, from which derives our word dexterous, meaning ` skillful, clever, or artful. '

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol IV No 1

  • ` fail in a design '; literally, ` not sufficiently "dexterous,"' since the bowhand is usually the left. be wide at (on, of) the bowhand

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol VI No 3

  • Many pundits of the time tried to explain Jewish basketball prowess as biological: Jews were naturally more dexterous and had greater intrinsic athletic ability than non-Jews.

    A Renegade History of the United States

  • The Equinox glove from Specialized is thin but keeps your hands warm and dexterous.

    What to bring to a cyclocross race

Comments

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  • I call my boyfriend dexterous

    February 1, 2011