Meaning of SKILL in English


I. ˈskil noun

( -s ; see sense 4 )

Etymology: Middle English skile, skil, from Old Norse skil distinction, discernment, knowledge; akin to Old English scylian to separate, part, Middle Low German schēlen to distinguish, Old Norse skilja to separate, divide, Gothic skilja butcher, Lithuanian skèlti to split — more at shell

1. obsolete : cause , reason

you have as little skill to fear as I have purpose to put you to't — Shakespeare



(1) : knowledge of the means or methods of accomplishing a task

skills disappear … when we fail to put them to work — T.W.Arnold

(2) : the ability to use one's knowledge effectively and readily in execution or performance : technical expertness : proficiency

revealed considerable skill in the practice of law — Carol L. Thompson

sufficient political skill to govern wisely — J.G.Colton

b. : dexterity, fluency, or coordination in the execution of learned physical or mental tasks

loss of motor skill in the use of the hands — C.D.Martz & Frances Ekstam

specifically : technical competence without insight or understanding or the ability for further elaboration or development

a volume of verses which show some skill in versification, but little originality in thought or form — H.E.Starr

frequently a person acquires certain reading skills but never understands what he has read — John Haverstick


a. : a learned power of doing a thing competently : a developed or acquired aptitude or ability

because of the influence which the language skills exert on each other, the present trend is to teach them together — Education Digest

the endless skills the human hand is capable of developing — Abram Kardiner

b. : a craft requiring the use of related skills

practiced the skill of a carpenter

c. : a coordinated set of actions become smooth and integrated through practice

thought canoeing was not a difficult sport or skill — Ernest Beaglehole

4. plural skill : a skilled person

immigration of skill is … welcomed in all undeveloped areas — E.P.Hutchinson & W.E.Moore

5. dialect Britain : discriminating taste : liking — usually used with of

he has a skill of good wines

Synonyms: see art

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English skilen, from Old Norse skilja to separate, divide

intransitive verb


a. : to make a difference : matter

perhaps she was a soprano … it skills not — Thomas Wolfe

b. : to be of help : avail


a. obsolete : to have practical skill : be dexterous or competent

b. archaic : to have understanding : be knowing

intransitive verb

dialect England : understand , comprehend

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.