skill

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English[edit]

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Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English skilen (also schillen), partly from Old English scylian, scielian (to separate, part, divide off); and partly from Old Norse skilja (to divide, separate); both from Proto-Germanic *skilōną, *skiljaną (to divide, limit), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kalǝ-, *(s)kelǝ- (to split, cut). Cognate with Danish skille (to separate, discard), Swedish skilja (to distinguish, differentiate, part), Icelandic skilja (to understand), Dutch schelen (to make a difference).

Verb[edit]

skill (third-person singular simple present skills, present participle skilling, simple past and past participle skilled)

  1. (transitive) To set apart; separate.
  2. (transitive, chiefly dialectal) To discern; have knowledge or understanding; to know how (to).
    • (Can we date this quote?) Herbert:
      I can not skill of these thy ways.
  3. (transitive) To know; to understand.
    • Barrow
      to skill the arts of expressing our mind
  4. (intransitive) To have knowledge or comprehension; discern.
  5. (intransitive) To have personal or practical knowledge; be versed or practised; be expert or dextrous.
  6. (intransitive, archaic) To make a difference; signify; matter.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Herbert:
      What skills it, if a bag of stones or gold / About thy neck do drown thee?
    • (Can we date this quote?) Sir Walter Scott:
      It skills not talking of it.
Synonyms[edit]
  • (separate): split (call management systems)

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English skill, skille (also schil, schile), from Old English *scile and Old Norse skil (a distinction, discernment, knowledge), from Proto-Germanic *skilin (separation, limit), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kalǝ-, *(s)kelǝ- (to split, cut). Cognate with Danish skel (a separation, boundary, divide), Swedish skäl (reason), Dutch verschil (difference) and schillen (to sperate the outer layer (schil) from the product, verb).

Noun[edit]

skill (countable and uncountable, plural skills)

  1. Capacity to do something well; technique, ability. Skills are usually acquired or learned, as opposed to abilities, which are often thought of as innate.
  2. (obsolete) Discrimination; judgment; propriety; reason; cause.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
  3. (obsolete) Knowledge; understanding.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)
  4. (obsolete) Display of art; exercise of ability; contrivance; address.
    • Henry Blake Fuller?? (1857-1929)
      Richard [] by a thousand princely skills, gathering so much corn as if he meant not to return.
Synonyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Adjective[edit]

skill (comparative more skill, superlative most skill)

  1. (UK, slang) great, excellent
    • 1987, Teresa Maughan, Letters (in Your Sinclair issue 18, June 1987)
      Well, unfortunately for you, my dearest Waggipoos, I'm much more skill than you!
    • 1991, Wreckers (video game review in Crash issue 88, May 1991)
      This game is skill. Remember that because it's going to sound really complicated.
    • 1999, "Andy Smith", I am well skill (on Internet newsgroup alt.digitiser)
      And I am skiller than you.

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