Besides its meanings as skillful, adroit, and deft, dexterous or dextrous has a secondary meaning of right or right-handed. Compare with sinister, which, besides meaning evil, baleful, and malign, has a secondary meaning of left or left-handed. Both from Latin roots.

Dex"ter*ous (?), a. [L. dexter. See Dexter.] [Written also dextrous.]


Ready and expert in the use of the body and limbs; skillful and active with the hands; handy; ready; as, a dexterous hand; a dexterous workman.


Skillful in contrivance; quick at inventing expedients; expert; as, a dexterous manager.

Dexterous the craving, fawning crowd to quit. Pope.


Done with dexterity; skillful; artful; as, dexterous management.

"Dexterous sleights of hand."


Syn. -- Adroit; active; expert; skillful; clever; able; ready; apt; handy; versed.


© Webster 1913.

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