Information & Library Science

  • noun a special ability, knowledge or training that enables somebody to do something well


  • noun an ability to do difficult work, which is acquired by training


  • noun the ability to carry out a task or procedure (usually improved by teaching and practice)


  • noun a younger schoolchildren’s exclamation of admiration, appreciation or approval, heard in the late 1980s. The word has been extended from its original literal sense to become an all purpose vogue word, sometimes in the phrase ‘skill and brill’.


  • noun an ability to do perform an action well, acquired by training

Origin & History of “skill”

Skill etymologically denotes not a physical accomplishment, but the mental capacity to make ‘distinctions’. It was borrowed from Old Norse skil ‘distinction, discernment, knowledge’, whose relatives include Dutch geschil ‘difference’, and which goes back ultimately to the prehistoric Germanic base *skel- ‘divide, separate’ (source also of English scale, shell, shield, etc). The modern English sense emerged in the 13th century.