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90s Slang You Should Know


or unwieldly

[uhn-weel-dee] /ʌnˈwil di/
adjective, unwieldier, unwieldiest.
not wieldy; wielded with difficulty; not readily handled or managed in use or action, as from size, shape, or weight; awkward; ungainly.
Origin of unwieldy
First recorded in 1350-1400, unwieldy is from the Middle English word unweldy. See un-1, wieldy
Related forms
unwieldily, adverb
unwieldiness, noun
bulky, unmanageable, clumsy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for unwieldy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This was an unwieldy and cumbersome medium of locomotion, but it rendered good service, nevertheless.

  • Each of these carried an unwieldy block of gleaming substance.

  • He was heavy-set and unwieldy, and he wore a wrinkled suit of butternut jeans.

    Oh, You Tex! William Macleod Raine
  • "That's rather an unwieldy name for every-day use," put in Strong.

    Quite So Thomas Bailey Aldrich
  • If the area is large, however, as in a palm print, an area which will not make the chart too bulky or unwieldy may be selected.

    The Science of Fingerprints Federal Bureau of Investigation
British Dictionary definitions for unwieldy


too heavy, large, or awkwardly shaped to be easily handled
ungainly; clumsy
Derived Forms
unwieldily, unwieldlily, adverb
unwieldiness, unwieldliness, noun
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 unwieldy

late 14c., "lacking strength," from un- (1) "not" + Old English wielde "active, vigorous," from Proto-Germanic *walth- "have power" (see wield). Meaning "moving ungracefully" is recorded from 1520s; in reference to weapons, "difficult to handle, awkward by virtue of size or shape" it is attested from 1540s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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