• adroit •
ê-droyt • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Adjective
Meaning: Dexterous, deft, nimble-fingered, artful; having skills or talents that makes doing things seem easy.
Notes: Today's Good Word comes accompanied by an adverb, adroitly, and a straightforward noun, adroitness. No spelling traps so long as you remember the OY sound is spelled oi as in Detroit.
In Play: Today's word implies "quick" and "skillful": "The shell game operator removed the pea from the table with an adroit sleight of hand without the onlookers noticing." It may be used anywhere deftness is involved: "Sara Bellum adroitly managed the webpage illustrations herself while making her presentation."
Word History: Today's Good Word comes from French adroit, a word made from the Old French phrase à "to" + droit "right (both senses of the word), direct". Droit is a direct descendant from Late Latin directum "right, justice", the accusative case of directus "straight". Directus is the past participle of the verb dirigere, a variant of deregere "to set or lay straight", comprising de "from" + regere "to keep or lead straight, to guide". This is the root of rex "king", and regal. It also produced regular which, after passing through French, was reduced to rule. English, as is its wont, borrowed this word at every step of its development, even though it had its own Germanic version of the original PIE root, right. (We now thank Albert Skiles for so adroitly recommending today's dainty Good Word.)
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