Is there an adjective that describes someone good at controlling a vehicle, i.e., means a very "skilled pilot"? Trying to avoid using the word "pilot", "driver", etc.

  • 2
    Dexterous: having the ability to perform a difficult action quickly and skilfully with the hands. Jul 30 '20 at 3:56
  • Dexterous is too broad -- could be describing someone who's good at knitting or basketball but who has never entered a vehicle.
    – Luke
    Jul 30 '20 at 19:50
  • That's why it's a 'comment'. It was just a suggestion. Jul 30 '20 at 19:50

Ace would be a good choice if you're looking to avoid driver or pilot as it can take their place without directly specifying the activity the person excells at.




2 informal A person who excels at a particular sport or other activity.

‘The motorcycle ace won a world title on the all-powerful Honda last year and then celebrated victory by signing for the all-powerless Yamaha.’

Of course, it is also listed as an adjective, but that would still require the use of driver, pilot, etc.


informal Very good.

The site was first noticed by World War I ace pilot Gilbert Insall as he flew over a field where the chalky fill of ancient pits showed up as white spots. (The Henge Builders. Pitts, Mike, ACAD: Archaeology)

Though it seems to me that one could simply remove pilot from the above example and achieve the desired effect.

  • Remember, using the word ace to refer to piloting skills has the connotation specifically of military pilots who have shot down a certain number of enemy aircraft. When talking to other pilots, this will be the accepted definition. Aviator might be more of a complement rather than just pilot. But, there is no quantitative or qualitative connotation in that term. Therefore , Chesley Sullenberger is an accomplished aviator. But, he is not an ace pilot.
    – Dean F.
    Jul 30 '20 at 4:11
  • While I like the word "ace" I'm not looking to replace the noun. Even though it says ace can be an adjective, it seems to only make sense when modifying the word "pilot". Could I say "She's very ace" in the same way I might say "She's very dexterous"?
    – Luke
    Jul 30 '20 at 19:47
  • While it wouldn't have the same meaning as dextrous, ace has been used this way - Here, enjoy live music across the weekend, sports on the big screens, and some very *ace* happy hour specials, including $6 knock-off wines after 4pm each day (Guide to the Bars, Pubs, and Clubs of St Kilda).
    – DW256
    Jul 31 '20 at 2:58
  • Since ace already indicates a high degree of skill, modification by very seems superfluous in most situations in the same way very excellent or extremely top-notch would seem not to need the degree modifiers.
    – DW256
    Jul 31 '20 at 3:02

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