Definition of deft in English:

deft

adjective

  • 1Neatly skilful and quick in one's movements.

    ‘a deft piece of footwork’
    • ‘A quick swerve of his hips, a deft little hand pass and then a darting run to collect the return.’
    • ‘As the Camaro started to pull in front of her, she used deft footwork and gear-shifting to gun past him!’
    • ‘We were even regaled by a lovely Thai dancer whose deft hand movements and graceful demeanour enthralled the group.’
    • ‘On the roof of the cave deft hands had painted bison, elk, horses and wild boars.’
    • ‘In one quite amazingly deft movement he too contrives to wiggle into the minute room.’
    • ‘With one deft blow, William broke every bone in the man's body.’
    • ‘Then, with a quick and deft movement, Viktor slapped Erik hard across the face.’
    • ‘He caught it with a deft flick of the hand and then examined the ring.’
    • ‘Finally, he employs his deft touch with light, sweet pop to capture the essence of this album.’
    • ‘Following a goalless first half, the home side opened the scoring after 51 minutes with a deft finish from ten yards.’
    • ‘It was a deft bit of footwork but hardly respected the position of their rivals who are the main sponsors of the competition.’
    • ‘With one deft movement, he opened the book and flipped the pages until he found what he was looking for.’
    • ‘Women carrying babies, dancing in groups, peeling fresh pineapples with a few deft movements.’
    • ‘The man caught it with a deft flick of his hand and pocketed it silently.’
    • ‘Their deft passes led to the three goals in the match.’
    • ‘His deft movement to the right to push clear the fiercely driven shot was goal keeping of the highest standard.’
    • ‘He stepped swiftly across the floor of the study, unlatching the window and throwing it open in one deft movement.’
    • ‘It was a triumph for de Gaulle's strong will and his deft political footwork.’
    agile, lithe, sprightly, acrobatic, light-footed, nimble-footed, light, light on one's feet, fleet-footed, spry, lively, active, quick, quick-moving, graceful, supple, limber, lissom, flexible, skilful, dexterous, adroit
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Demonstrating skill and cleverness.
      ‘the script was both deft and literate’
      • ‘I would have thought that that was a deft piece of understatement of what he was actually doing.’
      • ‘Flickering light on moving leaves was rendered with deft touches of white, while a palette knife created rich textural effects.’
      • ‘She is deft and astute and she beautifully describes the inner life of her characters; she is not in any rush.’
      • ‘I was impressed by how deft the copy was, how effortlessly it compressed so many ideas.’
      • ‘If you order these dishes, the host will buy you the desired amount and the deft hostess will cook up unexpected tastes.’
      • ‘But he makes up for it by deft wordplay and a sharp wit.’
      • ‘In its deft social commentary and layered, intelligent prose, the novel is assured and engaging.’
      • ‘Her deft hands fashioned countless beautiful things, from colourful quilts to crocheted tablecloths.’
      • ‘With one deft stroke, he placed himself in charge of redrafting a new set of laws.’
      • ‘These were posed on the air last week in a deft piece of cross-promotion.’
      • ‘She also demonstrated a deft skill in reporting on daily activity.’
      • ‘Also contributing to the album's strength as a complete piece is the deft sequencing.’
      • ‘But then, the sensitivity of the subject is such that it requires deft handling.’
      • ‘In her hands, the premise became a deft and intriguing piece of work.’
      • ‘He really is a criminally under-appreciated author, with an amazingly deft command of English.’
      • ‘His skills as a piano tuner, an accomplished violinist and a deft assembler of harmoniums stood him in good stead.’
      • ‘If it sounds unbearable, then my deft skill at description remains tip top.’
      • ‘Here you can make up your own look, going effortlessly from casual to classic with a few deft additions and accessories.’
      • ‘Adding a touch of thrill to the programme was a magic show by students who amazed visitors with their deft skills.’
      • ‘In other words, we know nothing about our deft and masterful artist except for his name.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

deft

/dɛft/