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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/
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dexterity (countable and uncountable, plural dexterities)

  1. Skill in performing tasks, especially with the hands.
    • 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.
    Playing computer games can improve your manual dexterity.
    She twirled the pencil through her fingers with impressive dexterity.

Related terms[edit]