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The basic meaning of the word adept is 'expert'. It has two pronunciations. Which one to use depends on whether the word is being used as an adjective or a noun.

  • As an adjective ("She is adept with her boat"), the stress is on the second syllable: 'er-DEPT', IPA: /ə ˈdɛpt/. The same is true of the adverb, 'er-DEPT-ly' ("She handled the boat adeptly").
  • As a noun, ("He was an adept of the black arts"), the stress is on the first syllable, 'AD-ept', IPA: /ˈæ dɛpt/.
(Do not allow the spell-checker to let you confuse this word with adapt or adopt.)