dextrous

\ \ [17] Just as the left hand has always been associated with awkwardness or maladroitness (cack-handed), so the right hand has traditionally been credited with skill: hence dextrous, a derivative of Latin dexter, which meant ‘on the right side’ and thus by extension ‘skilful’. This came ultimately, like Greek dexiós, Gothic taihswa, Breton dehou, Russian desnoj, and many other related forms in the general semantic area ‘right-hand side’, from an Indo-European base *dek-. English acquired the Latin adjective itself as a heraldic term in the 16th century.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dextrous — deals with ability or the right side (as opposed to left) Dexterity ability See relative direction for the right (non sinister) side Dextrous can also mean: USS Dextrous HMS Dextrous Dextrous or DJ Dextrous See also Dexter (disambiguation) Dextre …   Wikipedia

  • Dextrous — Dex trous, a., Dextrously Dex trous*ly, adv., Dextrousness Dex trous*ness, n. Same as {Dexterous}, {Dexterously}, etc. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dextrous — index practiced Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • dextrous — var of DEXTEROUS …   Medical dictionary

  • dextrous — 1620s, alternative spelling of DEXTEROUS (Cf. dexterous); this version is more conformable to Latin but less common in English …   Etymology dictionary

  • dextrous — [deks′trəs] adj. DEXTEROUS …   English World dictionary

  • dextrous — Dexterous Dex ter*ous, a. [L. dexter. See {Dexter}.] [Written also {dextrous}.] 1. 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. [1913 Webster] 2.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dextrous — [17] Just as the left hand has always been associated with awkwardness or maladroitness (cack handed), so the right hand has traditionally been credited with skill: hence dextrous, a derivative of Latin dexter, which meant ‘on the right side’ and …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • dextrous — dexterous UK / US or dextrous UK [ˈdekst(ə)rəs] / US adjective able to use your hands skilfully …   English dictionary

  • dextrous — var. of DEXTEROUS. * * * dextrous see dexterous …   Useful english dictionary

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