From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search





Borrowed from Middle French dextérité, from Latin dexteritas, from dexter (on the right), this is in reference to most people having greater fine motor skills in their right hand. Partially displaced native Old English handcræft, whence Modern English handcraft.


  • IPA(key): /dɛksˈtɛɹɪti/
  • Audio (UK):(file)
  • Audio (US):(file)



dexterity (countable and uncountable, plural dexterities)

  1. Skill in performing tasks, especially with the hands.
    Playing computer games can improve your manual dexterity.
    She twirled the pencil through her fingers with impressive dexterity.
    • 1769, Firishta, translated by Alexander Dow, Tales translated from the Persian of Inatulla of Delhi, volume I, Dublin: P. and W. Wilson et al., page 15:
      With mutual toil, and intuitive dexterity, we built our commodious habitation in the hollow of a mango tree, that the fruit, which was then in bloſſom, might ſubſiſt our young.
    • 1913, Robert Barr, chapter 5, in Lord Stranleigh Abroad[1]:
      She removed Stranleigh’s coat with a dexterity that aroused his imagination. The elder woman returned with dressings and a sponge, which she placed on a chair.