1: mentally adroit and skillful: clever
2: done with mental or physical skill, quickness, or grace: done with dexterity: artful
3: skillful and competent with the hands
Did You Know?
Dexterous comes from the Latin word dexter, meaning “on the right side.” Since most people are right-handed, and therefore do things more easily with their right hand, dexter developed the sense of “skillful.” English speakers crafted dexterous from dexter and have been using the resulting adjective for anyone who is skillful—in either a physical or mental capacity—since at least the early 1600s. The adjective ambidextrous, which combines dexter with the Latin prefix ambi-, meaning “both,” describes one who is able to use both hands in an equally skillful way.
As a shortstop, Alex is a dexterous fielder who is adept at catching any ground ball or line drive hit at him.
“And every single one of those weaves is done by hand. No loom is used—only dexterous fingers, sharp eyes and Zen-like concentration.” — Roff Smith, The New York Times, 22 July 2020