Definition of fluent in US English:



  • 1(of a person) able to express oneself easily and articulately.

    ‘a fluent speaker and writer on technical subjects’
    • ‘A lot of the problem is that Henry is not a very fluent speaker.’
    • ‘Sarandon is never so fluent or engaged as on the subject of the coming war.’
    • ‘By that definition, only a handful of fluent speakers remains.’
    • ‘I would say Wolff is more fluent and smoother, but that Kuchar, rawer and more intense, is in the end the better choice.’
    • ‘Darnell talked for two minutes and said a lot less than a fluent speaker could have communicated in three sentences…’
    • ‘They're so fluent and confident and comfortable with the language ", she continued.’
    • ‘It points out that fluent speakers have fallen from 250,000 over 80 years ago to under 30,000 today.’
    articulate, eloquent, expressive, communicative, coherent, cogent, illuminating
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    1. 1.1 (of a person) able to speak or write a particular foreign language easily and accurately.
      ‘she became fluent in French and German’
      • ‘My wife and I, also Mexican-American, are fluent in both languages.’
      • ‘The sought-after linguists have to be fluent in their second language and capable of communicating like a native speaker, so applicants are tested verbally as well as with a series of written exams.’
      • ‘It will mean ‘jobs for 110 translators fluent in the language, who can earn up to €85,000’.’
      • ‘Most are, like their American counterparts, far from fluent in a foreign language, hence the need for greater attention to proficiency.’
      • ‘For groups going abroad, it will be advised that children should know some key phrases in the foreign language and that at least one teacher should be fluent in the language.’
      • ‘Living in a foreign land, not being fluent in the language, yet still being able to communicate can be quite an accomplishment.’
      • ‘In my mind, being fluent in a language meant that one could get directions, tell boring stories, etc., in the language in question.’
      • ‘They were both fluent in sign language and were able to maintain a loving relationship for over 60 years.’
      • ‘He now writes essays full of creative ideas, and he is fluent in three languages.’
      • ‘It's built to CE standards, and the manual is actually written by someone fluent in English.’
      • ‘He will be given an English and a French name, have dual nationality, and be brought up fluent in both languages.’
      • ‘DePalma is fluent in a language that few of us can speak.’
      • ‘Monks in America can generally all speak English, while in the temples here, they naturally speak Thai and you would be lucky to find someone fluent in your language.’
      • ‘As a result, there's a fairly good chance that the child will, if not be entirely fluent in another language, be able to understand and speak a few words of a foreign language.’
      • ‘No formal qualifications are needed for the posts but applicants must speak excellent English and be fluent in the foreign language.’
      • ‘It even asks if you prefer a male or female planner and whether you want one fluent in a foreign language.’
      • ‘He, however, confesses that he is not very fluent in the foreign languages since he does not get too much of a chance to converse in those languages.’
      • ‘Medina doesn't speak Arabic, but she's become fluent in the universal language of reprimand, having been yelled at in countries from Cuba to the Czech Republic.’
      • ‘I'm nearly 26, I have a first class honours degree, I'm fluent in a foreign language, and I can't even get a job that pays peanuts in a provincial theatre.’
      • ‘Are they fluent in both official languages of our land?’
      articulate, able to speak or write … easily and accurately
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    2. 1.2 (of a foreign language) spoken accurately and with facility.
      ‘he spoke fluent Spanish’
      • ‘This proved advantageous for learning French, as few spoke fluent English there.’
      • ‘Franklin Roosevelt spoke fluent French and German and worked to create the United Nations, but no one doubted that his allegiance was to America above all.’
      • ‘She's on the line to Geneva, speaking fluent French.’
      • ‘Vaidya is a bright 30-year-old engineer who speaks fluent English, a rarity in this part of backwoods India.’
      • ‘She spoke fluent French and German, and some Swedish, Italian, and Russian, which greatly increased her effectiveness at international conferences.’
      • ‘The Harvard-educated former diplomat, who speaks fluent English and Chinese, is lauded for his grasp of policy and willingness to speak his mind.’
      • ‘Of the 600 men who were to masquerade as Americans, only 10 could speak fluent English.’
      • ‘Honestly speaking though, I have to admit that if we didn't complain so much we just wouldn't be British - we might get accused of being fluent English speaking Belgians.’
      • ‘Speaking fluent English and Chinese, Laura is a good co-ordinator among volunteers and a bridge between volunteers and the staff in the institute.’
      • ‘Sentences should rightly vary according to the nature of the crime, but surely not according to whether a victim had a family who loved him, or whether the victim's family can speak fluent English.’
      • ‘Kerry speaks fluent French, but usually avoids doing so in public.’
      • ‘For those not proficient in the local language there is no need to worry, a vast majority of the locals speak very fluent English and are usually only too happy to put it into practise.’
      • ‘I know that most Parisians speak fluent English, but my French teachers would have been so very disappointed.’
      • ‘She spoke fluent English, was an artist and a philosopher and everything concerning the house was ‘organic’.’
      • ‘Immaculately dressed, he is courteous rather than friendly, and speaks fluent English with an unmistakably French accent.’
      • ‘The uncredited Japanese actress who plays Noriko clearly doesn't speak fluent English, and seems to be delivering her lines phonetically.’
      • ‘In most instances your British qualifications will not be valid, even if you speak fluent French and have a job, such as teaching, that is transferable.’
      • ‘They speak fluent French, passable German, and have notions of Spanish.’
      • ‘The official, a career diplomat who speaks fluent French and likes to vacation in Italy, sat back and took an appreciative sip from his glass of good red wine from Bordeaux.’
      • ‘The restaurant manager spoke fluent English and German and all the staff were very attentive without being intrusive.’
    3. 1.3 (of speech, language, movement, or style) smoothly graceful and easy.
      ‘his style of play was fast and fluent’
      • ‘It was hard to image how it might sound on a synthesizer, so fluent and natural was Meyers' adaptation.’
      • ‘My agility was natural and fluent as liquid, while Jimmy's was practiced and not even nearly perfected.’
      • ‘The Pakistani has one of the most impressive run-ups - long, fluent and rhythmical - in world cricket.’
      • ‘His piano playing is smooth, fluent and inventive and the band, when given room to breathe, turn in some fine playing.’
      • ‘Considering this, it's only logical that swimmers ought to make it a habit to practice movements that are smooth, unhurried and fluent.’
      • ‘The elf smiled, concentrating for a moment, then glanced up, tracing one hand across invisible arcane symbols in graceful, fluent motions.’
      • ‘His prose is, for the most part, graceful and fluent.’
      • ‘With clean-cut designs and natural and fluent lines, the collection aims to present elegance while incorporating the most up-to-date fashion ideas.’
      • ‘These were the things that he couldn't put into easy, fluent words.’
      • ‘Unlike Anni, though, her style appears effortless: Claudia glides around the oval in fluent, languid strides.’
      • ‘These performances of the three late sonatas too have a fine, confident sweep and display Pizarro's easy, fluent virtuosity.’
      • ‘It was a very natural, easy, fluent process, and we used a group of talented musicians from both Turkey and Montreal.’
      • ‘I'm no great artist, but I do have a good eye for faces and an easy, fluent line with the pencil.’
      • ‘Roxana is harder to read, maybe because of the major themes, and probably because of the fact that the writing isn't as fluent and ‘easy going’ as in the previous novel.’
      • ‘In many ways, this being on the same wavelength makes for easy and fluent conversation.’
      • ‘The first act is lively, fluent and essentially naturalistic.’
      • ‘Jordain and Linder looked very well matched and very fluent and easy through very complex moves.’
      • ‘He left ECM in 1985, so this compilation covers the first decade of his career: the melodies are fresh; the solos are fluent and graceful.’
      • ‘Ramdin, however, scotched all such fears with a breezy and fluent effort.’
      • ‘The composer of some 70 operas, Adam is remembered as a pioneer and writer of graceful, fluent music in an Italianate idiom with dramatic power.’
      free-flowing, smooth, effortless, easy, natural, fluid, unbroken, uninterrupted, continuous
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    4. 1.4 Able to flow freely; fluid.
      ‘a fluent discharge from the nose’


Late 16th century: from Latin fluent- ‘flowing’, from the verb fluere.