• Deft; skillful.

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Example Sentences

“He had to practice his guitar every day for a year before he could be called habile.” 

“Lucy whipped up a tasty dinner after work with just a few habile steps.”

“The habile seamstress was in high demand for wedding dress alterations.”

Word Origin

Latin, 15th century

Why this word?

In Latin, “habilis” means something is easily handled — it’s the root word of both “able” and “habile,” but there are nuances between the pair. “Able” is the more commonly used synonym, but “habile” remains a particularly skillful word. The pronunciations of the two words are somewhat similar (“ay-bl” and “ha-buhl”), and the meanings are close. “Able” implies someone has a competent ability to do something, but “habile” ramps up the skill level to advanced or even expert.

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