1. Even though I have a great job, I am not adept at keeping to a budget and often end up broke between paydays.

  2. If you want to become a police officer, you must become adept with a handgun.

  3. It's fine! answered Sidorov, who was considered an adept at French.

I have seen definition of adept in dictionary, but I am confused in identifying if its an adjective or noun.

2 Answers 2


In the first two sentences it is an adjective, in the third sentence it is used as a noun (you can tell from the article) but it would be more natural for a native speaker to say "who was considered adept at French" here, thus using it as an adjective. In my experience, "adept" is usually used as an adjective, except where it is a title such as in some religious orders and martial arts disciplines.


Although the two words are spelled identically, they are pronounced slightly differently (at least in American English). (See Merriman-Webster for audio.) So that is one way to distinguish between noun and adjective.

Another way to distinguish them is to look for grammatical clues. The article in "an adept in French" indicates unambiguously that this is a noun.

Finally, there is usage, which dictionaries may not mention. In my experience, the noun "adept" is usually reserved for someone who is knowledgeable in something rather esoteric. Thus, it is a rather infrequent word. I find the phrase "an adept in French" quite strange. The adjective "adept" has no such restriction. I would parse "adept in French" automatically without thought. Of course, "fluent in French" is somewhat more idiomatic and is what I would actually use myself.

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