Definition of skill in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The ability to do something well; expertise.

    ‘difficult work, taking great skill’
    • ‘He has everything: height, strength, skill and the ability to hold the ball under pressure.’
    • ‘As if he hadn't heard her, he continued to steer the car, maneuvering it with expert skill.’
    • ‘He has bags of skill and masses of experience, which is very important.’
    • ‘I have seen the staff of the NHS who show not just skill and expertise but love, care and friendship.’
    • ‘We ensured a high level of skill and expertise on the board that would set the water plan.’
    • ‘His success since then has been a tribute to his political skill and ability.’
    • ‘Part of his skill lies in his ability to serve both the individual and collective response.’
    • ‘British hangmen, we were told, took pride in their skill and efficiency.’
    • ‘The coaches pick these players on the basis of their talent, skill and ability to work as a team.’
    • ‘Young girls may boast good health but they lack experience, skill and tolerance.’
    • ‘He will apply them with the benefit of his professional skill and experience.’
    • ‘The next most important thing that comes though is to pass on one's skill and experience.’
    • ‘The trick is to take as interesting route as you can, given your skill, imagination and ingenuity.’
    • ‘Newman's skill lies in his ability to mix serious political points with popular culture and the surreal.’
    • ‘His clocks were masterpieces of skill, precision, ingenuity, and determination.’
    • ‘You can be as determined as you like but you have to have ability and skill as well.’
    • ‘He is a player of real talent and skill and has the ability to make a real and lasting impression at the highest level.’
    • ‘They are asking for a fair day's pay for a fair day's work that reflects their expertise and skill.’
    • ‘I marvel at the almost boundless ingenuity and skill of mankind sometimes.’
    • ‘She covers this with deft skill and a versatile voice that can sweetly caress or swoop with camp theatrical grandeur.’
    expertise, skilfulness, expertness, adeptness, adroitness, deftness, dexterity, ability, prowess, mastery, competence, competency, capability, efficiency, aptitude, artistry, art, finesse, flair, virtuosity, experience, professionalism, talent, cleverness, smartness, ingenuity, versatility, knack, readiness, handiness
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[count noun]A particular ability.
      ‘the skills of cookery’
      • ‘Students need to acquire cognitive skills along the way.’
      • ‘Many Fortune 500 companies believe that basic communications skills training pays back significant dividends.’
      • ‘The plan aims to teach young, low-income couples the interpersonal skills necessary for healthy marriages.’
      • ‘Psychologists often stress the fact that juvenile delinquents lack the social skills needed to solve interpersonal problems.’
      • ‘After a comprehension check, follow with some literacy skill development.’
      • ‘A child swinging with abandon about a jungle gym is honing his gross motor skills.’
      • ‘The greatest disparity in performance between the two tests occurred in students with high literacy skill levels in both languages.’
      • ‘The position allowed her to begin honing her leadership skills.’
      • ‘Handicapped school children in south Florida learn problem-solving skills by playing chess.’
      • ‘The fact is those linguists who are engaged in real intelligence missions requiring their language skills are better qualified.’
      • ‘Subjects retained many Web skills from the computer skills workshop.’
      • ‘Students learn basic computer skills in computer classroom.’
      • ‘They will lack the language skills in either English or Mandarin to become professional workers in either cultural world.’
      • ‘Tasks like the analysis of slave spirituals give them an opportunity to hone their critical thinking skills.’
      • ‘Some children may require a great deal of support as they acquire the social skills necessary for maximum independence.’
      • ‘One of my strengths is possessing the organizational skills needed to know where every detail came from.’
      • ‘I went from teaching literacy to teaching flying skills to teaching computer literacy skills.’
      • ‘Because of that, all of these transferable skill sets actually don't get to play out in the workplace.’
      • ‘Also, thanks to John Hatton for sharpening my technical writing skills.’
      • ‘No new negotiation, communication, or problem-solving skills are learned.’


  • Train (a worker) to do a particular task.

    ‘there is a lack of basic skilling’
    • ‘That means they were in a skilling framework that set them up for the rest of their lives.’
    • ‘Indeed, older Australians in general must not be neglected in our push to skill the nation.’
    • ‘In these agricultural systems, skill is much more than information control; it is better characterized as performance based on the process of skilling.’
    • ‘Government should be skilling up the wider industrial relations community - not dumbing it down.’
    • ‘The India case shows how susceptible to political manipulation the cultural agricultural practices become when skilling is disrupted.’
    • ‘This perspective on information flow, skilling, and deskilling provides a basis for examining the case of GM cotton in India.’
    • ‘‘We are in the middle of a skills shortage, NAB should be employing, training and skilling Australians,’ says Noye.’
    • ‘And I think that is where the centre of the debate is: does record numbers in training necessarily equate with appropriate skilling of the nation?’
    • ‘Alexander's new job is to tub-thump for more business start-ups, better training, better skilling, raising our business horizons.’
    • ‘Scotland, he says, needs to address the skilling issue with haste.’
    • ‘They should be able to contribute basic information on new technologies that is important in the skilling process.’
    • ‘But does he really believe one of the main problems facing the central belt is over - skilling?’
    • ‘The World of Warcraft site has some new details on the game's developing trade skilling system, and I'm a bit underwhelmed.’
    • ‘We're not talking about de-skilling, we're talking about multiskilling, or double or treble skilling.’


Late Old English scele ‘knowledge’, from Old Norse skil discernment, knowledge.