- The definition of deft is nimble, skillful or quick.
An example of deft is a person who can walk across a tightrope with ease.
Origin of deftMiddle English defte, dafte: see daft
Origin of deftMiddle English dafte, defte, gentle, humble, well-mannered, from Old English dafte, meek.
(comparative defter, superlative deftest)
From Middle English defte, daft (“gentle”), from Old English dæfte, ġedæfte (“mild, gentle, meek”), from Proto-Germanic *daftuz (“accommodating, convenient”), derived from *dabaną (“to be suitable”), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰabʰ- (“fitting, fit together”). Near cognates include Gothic (gadōfs, “suitable”). Further cognates include Russian добро (dobro, “wealth, good”) and Latin faber (“craftsman; skillful”).