Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Proficiency, facility, or dexterity that is acquired or developed through training or experience.
  • noun A developed talent or ability.
  • noun An art, trade, or technique, particularly one requiring use of the hands or body.
  • noun Obsolete A reason; a cause.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To set apart; separate.
  • Hence, to discern; have knowledge or understanding (to); know how: usually with an infinitive.
  • To have perception or comprehension; have understanding; discern: followed by of or on.
  • To have personal and practical knowledge (of); be versed or practised; hence, to be expert or dexterous: commonly followed by of.
  • To make difference; signify; matter: used impersonally, and generally with a negative.
  • noun The discriminating or reasoning faculty; the mind.
  • noun Discriminative power; discernment; understanding; reason; wit.
  • noun Reasonableness; propriety; rightness; justice; proper course; wise measure; also, rightful claim; right.
  • noun Reasoning; argument; proof; also, cause; reason.
  • noun Practical knowledge and ability; power of action or execution; readiness and excellence in applying wisdom or science to practical ends; expertness; dexterity.
  • noun A particular power, ability, or art; a gift or attainment; an accomplishment.
  • noun That for which one is specially qualified; one's forte.
  • noun Synonyms Facility, knack. See adroit.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb obsolete To know; to understand.
  • noun obsolete Discrimination; judgment; propriety; reason; cause.
  • noun obsolescent Knowledge; understanding.
  • noun 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
  • noun obsolete Display of art; exercise of ability; contrivance; address.
  • noun obsolete Any particular art.
  • intransitive verb obsolete To be knowing; to have understanding; to be dexterous in performance.
  • intransitive verb To make a difference; to signify; to matter; -- used impersonally.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Capacity to do something well; technique, ability. Skills are usually acquired or learned, as opposed to abilities, which are often thought of as innate.
  • adjective UK, slang great, excellent
  • verb transitive To set apart; separate.
  • verb transitive To discern; have knowledge or understanding; to know how (to).
  • verb intransitive To have knowledge or comprehension; discern.
  • verb intransitive To have personal or practical knowledge of; be versed or practised; be expert or dextrous.
  • verb intransitive, archaic To make a difference; signify; matter.

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

  • noun an ability that has been acquired by training
  • noun ability to produce solutions in some problem domain

Etymologies

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

[Middle English skil, from Old Norse, discernment; see skel- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English skill, skille (also schil, schile), from Old English *scile and Old Norse skil ("a distinction, discernment, knowledge"), from Proto-Germanic *skilin (“separation, limit”), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kalǝ-, *(s)kelǝ- (“to split, cut”). Cognate with Danish skel ("a separation, boundary, divide"), Swedish skäl ("reason"), Dutch verschil ("difference").Dutch schillen (verb) ("to sperate the outer layer (schil) from the product").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English skilen (also schillen), partly from Old English scylian, scielian ("to separate, part, divide off"); and partly from Old Norse skilja ("to divide, separate"); both from Proto-Germanic *skilōnan, *skiljanan (“to divide, limit”), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kalǝ-, *(s)kelǝ- (“to split, cut”). Cognate with Danish skille ("to separate, discard"), Swedish skilja ("to distinguish, differentiate, part"), Icelandic skilja ("to understand"), Dutch schelen ("to make a difference").

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