Definition of fluency in US English:



  • 1The quality or condition of being fluent.

    • ‘Other problems of fluency may also characterize stuttering, including blocking of sounds or interjection of words or sounds.’
    • ‘NO, you don't need a full-time webmaster, a staff of IT personnel, an in-house server, and a fluency in JavaScript to make your mark in cyberspace.’
    • ‘It is credible that dyslexia is especially connected to reading fluency, which is the most vulnerable domain of reading in regular orthographies.’
    • ‘The five artists played this splendid score with precision, marvelously pure intonation, and an idiomatic fluency that alternately charmed and astounded!’
    • ‘There was no fluency or rhythm as they struggled to catch the flow of the play.’
    • ‘But fluency and cohesion are qualities that take time to develop and a clutch of new recruits, drafted in almost at one go, are unlikely to hit it off straight away.’
    • ‘Moreover, they are helped to acquire a high level of rhythmic fluency, flexibility and precision, qualities that constitute the basis of any solid piano technique.’
    • ‘Most people seem to have a natural fluency in thinking about beliefs, and this fluency helps to overcome the logical demands of a problem about the contents of another mind.’
    • ‘He's reaching an amazing level in his work, with a sustained fluency and engagement over a daunting number of complex projects, almost all at once.’
    • ‘But even in the youthful verses there is a technical fluency and a consistency of tone which is to be a permanent characteristic of all his work.’
    • ‘The ease and fluency resides, as it were outside him, in the pre-formulated efficiency of the machinery of expression.’
    • ‘Newcastle, though, edged the forward battle, where Scotland lock Stuart Grimes was to the fore, and it was their all-round fluency, prompted intelligently by Walder, which built the win.’
    • ‘Vast arrays of characters are played with fluency, creating extremely funny, but poignant, moments with an economy of style that keeps things clear and simple.’
    • ‘Thus far this has been every bit as entertaining as I'd feared - no quality, no fluency.’
    • ‘Somewhere in between, Pankaj had one opportunity but by then his natural fluency and rhythm had been shattered and his contribution terminated at 15.’
    • ‘Assessment was based on instrumental fluency, musical syntax, creativity and overall musical quality.’
    • ‘I sensed that if his hands were manacled, it would destroy the fluency of his speech.’
    • ‘In Renaissance Italy, he became a student of Titian in Venice, liberating himself from the conventions of icon painting and developing a new fluency with brush and color.’
    • ‘There's a new urgency and a thematic concentration to the poems, and the syntax is often sustained with a great fluency over long periods.’
    • ‘As such, they carry out the versatility of their roles, demonstrating musical eloquence and theatrical fluency.’
    fluidity, flow, smoothness, effortlessness, ease, naturalness
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    1. 1.1 The ability to speak or write a foreign language easily and accurately.
      ‘fluency in Spanish is essential’
      • ‘Perhaps it's an artistic ability or language fluency.’
      • ‘Dos Santos is young, intelligent, highly qualified and speaks several languages with impeccable fluency.’
      • ‘Often each also has his own style of handwriting, announced gender, cultural and racial background, artistic talents, foreign language fluency, and IQ.’
      • ‘They helped and taught one another how to make pop-ups, increased fluency in their specific foreign language, and asked one another questions about color, design and layout.’
      • ‘Compared with their peers, diviners excel in insight, imagination, fluency in language, and knowledge of cultural traditions.’
      • ‘Beginning readers of an alphabetic language achieve fluency and skill as they develop an understanding of the sound-letter patterns within their writing system.’
      • ‘Country schools, whose pupils were needed to work the land and whose instructors were not always professionally certified, generally offered training in basic skills rather than fluency in written language.’
      • ‘His fluency with languages was noted, being able to speak English and French as well as his native German, and after two months he was given the option to join a UN peace-keeping force in Cyprus.’
      • ‘‘Language fluency and communication form the rock foundation of the general skills,’ said Mr. Pallath.’
      • ‘She astounded me with her intelligence, her fluency in many foreign languages, and her fantastic chess skill.’
      • ‘In this article, it will be argued that the proceduralization of linguistic knowledge is the most important factor in the development of fluency in advanced second language learners.’
      • ‘Their definitions are compatible with the Steiner curriculum: the teaching of emotional intelligence; lateral, creative thinking, and fluency in foreign languages.’
      • ‘This point is important because we cannot assume that a single psychologically constructed test will accurately describe language fluency.’
      • ‘By the way, I'm simplifying here by classing written and spoken fluency as the same thing.’
      • ‘Verhoeven identified the effect of the first language on the second language in literacy, vocabulary, and language fluency, but not in morphology and syntax.’
      • ‘By second grade, the goal is that most students have developed sufficient fluency in both languages to understand directions and subject-area instruction in either language.’
      • ‘They both used the phrase ‘uniquely human’ to describe certain cognitive abilities, such as language fluency and representational thought.’
      • ‘Technical competence in medicine requires fluency in clinical language.’
      • ‘That's because every person's typing style is the product of individual characteristics including finger length, dexterity, motor skills, and language fluency.’
      • ‘He was unusual in his ability to speak Czech with some fluency; he would not accept with his father's readiness the pragmatic cultural compromises adopted by so many among Prague's Jewish community.’
      articulacy, facility, ability to speak or write … easily and accurately
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    2. 1.2 The ability to express oneself easily and articulately.
      • ‘We conclude that the quantitative and qualitative evidence supports the contention that increases in fluency are attributable mainly to increases in the degree of proceduralization of knowledge.’
      • ‘The cursing continued for some time, barely audible, and showing a fluency that even more jaded Institute graduates would have been shocked at.’
      • ‘He was one of those rare writers who could express himself verbally with a fluency that equalled his literary ability.’
      • ‘The grownups just laughed and commented on our intelligence and fluency.’
      • ‘She wore Indian dresses and spoke Urdu and Persian with fluency and French and English with a poor flow.’
      • ‘With some professional help and regular self-therapy, he was able to develop fluency in most speech situations.’
      • ‘The women danced to declare their fluency of expression and the knowledge it implied, and they did so unencumbered by the kin group duties that attended such displays.’
      • ‘Her technique was characterized by a huge jump, lyrical fluency, and a classical purity of style.’
      • ‘He found music students lacking in fluency and expressiveness.’
      • ‘Don Eckelberry was a rare individual who possessed wide-ranging fluency of expression in his conversation, his writing, and in his painting.’
      • ‘He possessed an artist's intuition and a fluency with articulate meanings.’
      • ‘Intelligence and verbal fluency are not necessarily linked, as listening to 30 minutes of commercial radio will attest.’
      • ‘But then in his post-victory remarks, the candidate went on and on and on, boringly, without the lift and eloquence and fluency of even his opponent.’
      • ‘In addition, as a U.S. Army veteran of the Persian Gulf War, the author brings to the analysis a fluency on strategic issues that military readers are certain to appreciate.’
      • ‘Even the US Supreme Court, unrenowned for its fluency in articulating harms, has recognized that fact.’
      • ‘They eagerly turned to literature printed in the East to acquire fluency in the expressive, if nonverbal, rhetoric made possible by this new sensibility.’
      • ‘He, of course, noted her paralysis, but also noted an impairment in naming things and in verbal fluency, difficulties in expressing herself, in reading a paragraph and slowness in learning.’
      • ‘He covers issues like drug abuse and self-harm with considerable fluency and character and when he's not tackling world issues, sloppy commercial hip hop receives a shrewd and poetic put down.’
      • ‘In Britain, because of the historical importance of parliament, we place a higher value on verbal fluency in our national leaders.’
      • ‘This means you are highly intelligent and have the natural fluency of a writer and the visual and spatial strengths of an artist.’
      eloquence, articulacy, articulateness, expressiveness, communicativeness, coherence, cogency, intelligibility, comprehensibility, lucidity, vividness, persuasiveness, glibness, volubility
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    3. 1.3 Gracefulness and ease of movement or style.
      ‘the horse was jumping with breathtaking fluency’
      • ‘For the discerning traveller, it offers an insight into Kerala's unique features and characteristic identity through the dazzling fluency of the brush of Maqbool Fida Husain.’
      • ‘Usually, ‘translationese’ is a term of opprobrium, applied (often rightly) to translations which fail to achieve fluency or elegance.’
      • ‘The music he wrote for the Catholic monarchs Henry VIII and Mary has a fluency to it which suggests a mind fully at ease with its circumstances.’
      • ‘His playing has a wonderful fluency and easy style; the phrasing seems utterly instinctive, and there's not a moment when he seems to be making expressive effects for their own sake.’
      • ‘The class I took at Equinox in Pasadena, California, reawakened my appreciation of the fluency of movement that sets ballet dancers apart from other athletes.’
      • ‘The extra inches, or the pounds of fat can change you from a reliable, taut little performer into a gangly, clumsy lump who loses all sense of fluency and movement.’
      • ‘It seemed that Dunfermline sensed this and while their opponents struggled for fluency and found themselves running down blind alleys, they regularly glimpsed the Celtic goal.’
      • ‘And here was Celtic finding early-season fluency with impressive ease.’
      • ‘The improved fluency allowed the Hockeyroos to find their attacking rhythm, with three of the five goals the result of well-executed and creative play.’
      • ‘He writes here, as usual, with grace, energy, and fluency.’
      • ‘At our best, we can construct word-maps dense with correspondences of breathtaking elegance and fluency.’
      • ‘They are dealing with a footballer whose physical attributes, swift fluency of movement and richness of technique equip him to be the most accomplished centre-back in the game.’
      • ‘Michael Barber manages to include such information without ever causing congestion in the fluency of his style.’
      • ‘Forsythe's fluency of movement is revealed as he attempts to sever the control that the mind places over the body and dissolves into pure movement.’
      • ‘She discerned the grander design beyond the individual elements, marrying astounding difficulty with fluency and grace.’
      • ‘In cold but bright conditions, both sides struggled to find any fluency.’
      • ‘This is a charmingly imaginative and atmospheric book, written with an easy grace and fluency.’
      • ‘Laois never moved with the same fluency or style as when they powered to the Leinster title in 2003.’
      • ‘Not all Mamas' works necessarily demonstrate this effortless fluency with his chosen medium.’
      • ‘Walsh, though, preferred to stalk his rival down the railway fences along the back straight, where rhythm and fluency are the key to preserving precious energy for the stamina-sapping uphill finish.’


Early 17th century: from Latin fluentia, from fluere ‘to flow’.