An expert of older times whose skills have regressed is:

  • rusty;
  • out of practice;
  • formerly skilled;
  • semi-skilled;
  • in need of training;
  • erstwhile expert;
  • veteran beginner;
  • false beginner;
  • remedial learner.

His skill in question is antiquated. I'm looking for a better adjective to state that a skill needs to be refreshed.

For example: I'm out of practice of cooking. (I apologize for the poor sentence. It is the problem exactly).

I've already seen this similar question that does not have an answer.

  • PS: Need a word that I can write in my resume. – displayName Mar 17 '16 at 2:18
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    Then don't say you're rusty. Just put the experience. If it's important it'll come up in the interview. Because you do expect that if you get the job you're going to do what it takes to come back up to speed without impacting the project's schedule right? – Jim Mar 17 '16 at 2:37
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    Don't fixate on using a single word. Tell them you have skills X, Y, and Z that were current is 1842, and you simply need to make them current. – Hot Licks Mar 17 '16 at 2:38
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    I assume you have a section at the top of your resume with keywords: C/C++, bash, lex/yacc, Matlab etc. Then you have reverse order company listings where you say, "Developed such and such in C". If you do then people can see your recency of experience because they will find that lex and yacc aren't listed until you get back to your job in 1997. – Jim Mar 17 '16 at 2:46
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    Hot Licks and Jim's comments are the most sensible suggestions. Your potential employers will figure out for themselves that you'll need a little time in order for your skills to be upgraded and in line with the most current or latest developments. "Up to speed" I think sounds appropriate idioms.thefreedictionary.com/up+to+speed – Mari-Lou A Mar 17 '16 at 7:43

Why not rusty itself?

It is not just a person that can get a bit rusty, but also the skill.

Google "my" + "is a bit rusty" and there are many examples, e.g., "My French is a bit rusty".


You need to bone up on your cooking skills.

2 : to renew one's skill or refresh one's memory

"Bone up." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2016.

  • Thanks for your answer, I'm looking for a word to write in my resume. Can't "bone-up" there. :D – displayName Mar 17 '16 at 2:19

How about rejuvenate:

"When you make something young again or give it more life and energy"

"You could rejuvenate your cooking skills by attending cooking courses."


You could use rejuvenation/rejuvenating.

"After the rejuvenation of my cooking skills, cooking seemed easier."


You could say that your cooking skills have lapsed.

This is a figurative use of the term, whose literal definition relates to expiry dates:

Lapse adjective No longer valid; expired - ODO

Here are some examples from the internet:


Consider unimproved:


Not made better:
the living standards of the majority of Bulgarians has remained unimproved

It suggests that improvement is possible, but not carried out yet. So your sentence becomes:

My skill in cooking is unimproved.

Note, BTW, that this adjective has been mainly used for lands and roads.


Two suggestions:

. Workers in manufacturing positions need (1)retraining to learn new work processes or new computerised equipment.

. While these skills should be (1)retrained every three years or more, many individuals seldom get an opportunity to practice what they have learned.


. Employers can either retrain late career workers and (2)adjust their skills to the new needs of the workplace.

. Smarter Parenting skills should be (2)adjusted and used in a way that will be most helpful to children with Reactive attachment disorder (RAD)


I think single word answers will be either sounding strange or rarely in use.

How about these?

I understand that you're experienced in a particular field, but out of touch with it lately.

not informed about something

"The report shows that the committee is out of touch with recent developments in space technology."

So you just need to get in touch with the latest versions.

having recent knowledge about something

"I try to keep in touch with the latest developments in the music scene."

"A president must stay in touch to know what citizens want or need."

In my humble opinion, it's never good to mention that your skills are outdated.

What's better is to say that you're experienced in those fields, but will need to update yourself on the recent developments.

to tell someone the latest news about someone or something.

"Please update me about the current situation in France."

"Please update me about Tony."

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