adjective Etymology: Middle English awkeward in the wrong direction, from awke turned the wrong way, from Old Norse ǫfugr; akin to Old High German abuh turned the wrong way Date: 1530 1. obsolete perverse 2. archaic unfavorable, adverse 3. a. lacking dexterity or skill (as in the use of hands) <
awkward with a needle and thread
b. showing the result of a lack of expertness <
awkward pictures
4. a. lacking ease or grace (as of movement or expression) <
awkward writing
b. lacking the right proportions, size, or harmony of parts ; ungainly <
an awkward design
5. a. lacking social grace and assurance <
an awkward newcomer
b. causing embarrassment <
an awkward moment
6. not easy to handle or deal with ; requiring great skill, ingenuity, or care <
an awkward load
an awkward diplomatic situation
awkwardly adverbawkwardness noun Synonyms: awkward, clumsy, maladroit, inept, gauche mean not marked by ease (as of performance, movement, or social conduct). awkward is widely applicable and may suggest unhandiness, inconvenience, lack of muscular control, embarrassment, or lack of tact <
periods of awkward silence
. clumsy implies stiffness and heaviness and so may connote inflexibility, unwieldiness, or lack of ordinary skill <
a clumsy mechanic
. maladroit suggests a tendency to create awkward situations <
a maladroit politician
. inept often implies complete failure or inadequacy <
a hopelessly inept defense attorney
. gauche implies the effects of shyness, inexperience, or ill breeding <
felt gauche and unsophisticated at formal parties

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • awkward — awkward, clumsy, maladroit, inept, gauche mean not adapted by constitution or character to act, operate, or achieve the intended or desired ends with ease, fitness, or grace. Awkward and clumsy are by far the widest of these terms in their range… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Awkward — Awk ward ([add]k we[ e]rd), a. [Awk + ward.] 1. Wanting dexterity in the use of the hands, or of instruments; not dexterous; without skill; clumsy; wanting ease, grace, or effectiveness in movement; ungraceful; as, he was awkward at a trick; an… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • awkward — [ôk′wərd] adj. [ME aukward < ON ǫfugr, turned backward + OE weard, WARD] 1. not having grace or skill; clumsy, as in form or movement; bungling [an awkward dancer, an awkward style] 2. inconvenient to use; hard to handle; unwieldy [an awkward… …   English World dictionary

  • Awkward — Titre original Awkward Genre Comédie Créateur(s) Lauren Iungerich Acteurs principaux Ashley Rickards Beau Mirchoff Brett Davern Sadie Saxon Pays d’origine …   Wikipédia en Français

  • awkward — [adj1] clumsy, inelegant all thumbs*, amateurish, artless, blundering, bulky, bumbling, bungling, butterfingers*, coarse, floundering, gawky, graceless, green*, having two left feet*, having two left hands*, incompetent, inept, inexpert, klutzy* …   New thesaurus

  • awkward — index difficult, improper, inadept, incompetent, inelegant, inept (incompetent), ponderous, unbecoming …   Law dictionary

  • awkward — (adj.) mid 14c., in the wrong direction, from AWK (Cf. awk) back handed + adverbial suffix weard (see WARD (Cf. ward)). Meaning clumsy first recorded 1520s. Related: Awkwardly. Other formations from awk, none of them surviving, were awky, awkly,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • awkward — ► ADJECTIVE 1) hard to do or deal with. 2) causing or feeling embarrassment. 3) inconvenient. 4) clumsy. DERIVATIVES awkwardly adverb awkwardness noun. ORIGIN from obsolete …   English terms dictionary

  • awkward — 1. (awkward) (1286↑, 186↓) passing a homeless person on your way to a [coin star] machine. the most awkward thing that could happen is passing a homeless person carrying a jar full of change. Author: Daniel Palu …   Urban English dictionary

  • awkward — awk|ward S2 [ˈo:kwəd US ˈo:kwərd] adj [Date: 1500 1600; Origin: awk turned the wrong way (15 17 centuries) (from Old Norse öfugr) + ward] 1.) making you feel embarrassed so that you are not sure what to do or say = ↑difficult ▪ I hoped he would… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • awkward — adj. 1) awkward with (he is awkward with children) 2) (BE) awkward for (Monday is awkward for me) 3) awkward to + inf. (it is awkward to discuss such matters in public = it is awkward discussing such matters in public) * * * [ ɔːkwəd] (BE)… …   Combinatory dictionary

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