The DICT Development Group

Search for:
Search type:

Database copyright information
Server information

3 definitions found
 for awkward
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  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 awkward boy.
        [1913 Webster]
              And dropped an awkward courtesy.      --Dryden.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. Not easily managed or effected; embarrassing.
        [1913 Webster]
              A long and awkward process.           --Macaulay.
        [1913 Webster]
              An awkward affair is one that has gone wrong, and is
              difficult to adjust.                  --C. J. Smith.
        [1913 Webster]
     3. Perverse; adverse; untoward. [Obs.] "Awkward casualties."
        "Awkward wind." --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
              O blind guides, which being of an awkward religion,
              do strain out a gnat, and swallow up a cancel.
        [1913 Webster]
     Syn: Ungainly; unhandy; clownish; lubberly; gawky; maladroit;
          bungling; inelegant; ungraceful; unbecoming.
     Usage: Awkward, Clumsy, Uncouth. Awkward has a special
            reference to outward deportment. A man is clumsy in
            his whole person, he is awkward in his gait and the
            movement of his limbs. Clumsiness is seen at the first
            view. Awkwardness is discovered only when a person
            begins to move. Hence the expressions, a clumsy
            appearance, and an awkward manner. When we speak
            figuratively of an awkward excuse, we think of a lack
            of ease and grace in making it; when we speak of a
            clumsy excuse, we think of the whole thing as coarse
            and stupid. We apply the term uncouth most frequently
            to that which results from the lack of instruction or
            training; as, uncouth manners; uncouth language.
            [1913 Webster] -- Awk"ward*ly
            ([add]k"we[~e]rd*l[y^]), adv. -- Awk"ward*ness, n.
            [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      adj 1: causing inconvenience; "they arrived at an awkward time"
      2: lacking grace or skill in manner or movement or performance;
         "an awkward dancer"; "an awkward gesture"; "too awkward with
         a needle to make her own clothes"; "his clumsy fingers
         produced an awkward knot" [ant: graceful]
      3: difficult to handle or manage especially because of shape;
         "an awkward bundle to carry"; "a load of bunglesome
         paraphernalia"; "clumsy wooden shoes"; "the cello, a rather
         ungainly instrument for a girl" [syn: awkward,
         bunglesome, clumsy, ungainly]
      4: not elegant or graceful in expression; "an awkward prose
         style"; "a clumsy apology"; "his cumbersome writing style";
         "if the rumor is true, can anything be more inept than to
         repeat it now?" [syn: awkward, clumsy, cumbersome,
         inapt, inept, ill-chosen]
      5: hard to deal with; especially causing pain or embarrassment;
         "awkward (or embarrassing or difficult) moments in the
         discussion"; "an awkward pause followed his remark"; "a
         sticky question"; "in the unenviable position of resorting to
         an act he had planned to save for the climax of the campaign"
         [syn: awkward, embarrassing, sticky, unenviable]
      6: socially uncomfortable; unsure and constrained in manner;
         "awkward and reserved at parties"; "ill at ease among eddies
         of people he didn't know"; "was always uneasy with strangers"
         [syn: awkward, ill at ease(p), uneasy]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  145 Moby Thesaurus words for "awkward":
     Latinate, all thumbs, blankminded, blunderheaded, blundering,
     bombastic, boorish, bulky, bumbling, bungling, butterfingered,
     callow, careless, clownish, clumsy, clumsy-fisted, confused,
     contrary, cramped, crosswise, crushing, cumbersome, cumbrous,
     dangerous, delicate, difficult, discomfited, discommodious,
     disconcerted, disconcerting, disturbing, dumb, elephantine,
     embarrassed, embarrassing, empty, empty-headed, fingers all thumbs,
     forced, formal, fumbling, gauche, gawkish, gawky, graceless, green,
     groping, guinde, halting, ham-fisted, ham-handed, hazardous, heavy,
     heavy-handed, hulking, hulky, humiliating, ignorant, ill at ease,
     ill-chosen, impractical, inane, incommodious, inconvenient,
     inefficient, inelegant, inept, inexperienced, inexpert, inkhorn,
     innocent, know-nothing, labored, leaden, left-hand, left-handed,
     loutish, lubberly, lumbering, lumpish, lumpy, maladroit, massive,
     massy, mortifying, naive, nescient, oafish, out of place, perilous,
     perverse, pompous, ponderous, precarious, raw, rigid, risky,
     sensitive, sesquipedalian, shamefaced, simple, sloppy, splay,
     sticky, stiff, stilted, strange to, tentative, ticklish, touchy,
     tricky, troublesome, trying, turgid, unacquainted, unapprized,
     uncomfortable, uncomprehending, unconversant, uncouth, undexterous,
     uneasy, unenlightened, unfamiliar, unfortunate, ungainly,
     ungraceful, unhandy, unhappy, unilluminated, uninformed,
     uninitiated, unintelligent, unknowing, unmanageable, unpleasant,
     unposted, unripe, unskilled, unskillful, unsure, unversed,
     unwieldy, vacuous, wooden

Contact=webmaster@dict.org Specification=RFC 2229