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[mal-uh-droit] /ˌmæl əˈdrɔɪt/
lacking in adroitness; unskillful; awkward; bungling; tactless:
to handle a diplomatic crisis in a very maladroit way.
Origin of maladroit
1665-75; < French, Middle French; see mal-, adroit
Related forms
maladroitly, adverb
maladroitness, noun
clumsy, inept; gauche. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for maladroitness
Historical Examples
  • Its proprietor said what he could in extenuation of its maladroitness.

    When Ghost Meets Ghost

    William Frend De Morgan
  • If he had planned a campaign of maladroitness he could not have more happily fulfilled his object.

  • His good-natured smile at my maladroitness I treasured up as a deadly wrong.

  • Bartrow saw the plea and the pathos of it, and added one more to the innumerable contemnings of his own maladroitness.

    The Helpers Francis Lynde
  • This being the case, Lucilla's good humour was perfectly restored, and she had forgiven Tom his maladroitness.

    Miss Marjoribanks Mrs (Margaret) Oliphant
  • These struggles of Jean Christophe continue throughout the years, for his maladroitness is no less conspicuous than his strength.

    Romain Rolland Stefan Zweig
  • Ricasoli had been driven from office by his own maladroitness and Garibaldi's wild, aimless opposition.

    The Life of Mazzini Bolton King
  • There was one old hunter in the stables who loyally carried the young man without taking advantage of his maladroitness.

    Bluebell Mrs. George Croft Huddleston
  • But it was too late now to engage in the struggle, and the minority was to expiate its doctrinairism and maladroitness.

  • Besides, she was rather ashamed of her maladroitness in mistaking Lord Chilminster for a common motor-man.

    Golden Stories Various
British Dictionary definitions for maladroitness


showing or characterized by clumsiness; not dexterous
tactless and insensitive in behaviour or speech
Derived Forms
maladroitly, adverb
maladroitness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from French, from mal badly + adroit
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for maladroitness



1670s, from mal- + adroit. Related: Maladroitly; maladroitness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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