awkward

[ awk-werd ]
/ ˈɔk wərd /

adjective

Origin of awkward

1300–50; Middle English, equivalent to awk(e), auk(e) ‘backhanded’, Old English *afoc (< Old Norse ǫfugr ‘turned the wrong way’; cognate with Old Saxon, Old High German abuh, Old English afu(h)lic ‘wrong’, off) + -ward -ward
Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for awkward

British Dictionary definitions for awkward

awkward

/ (ˈɔːkwəd) /

adjective

Derived Formsawkwardly, adverbawkwardness, noun

Word Origin for awkward

C14 awk, from Old Norse öfugr turned the wrong way round + -ward
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

Word Origin and History for awkward

awkward


adj.

mid-14c., "in the wrong direction," from awk "back-handed" + adverbial suffix -weard (see -ward). Meaning "clumsy" first recorded 1520s. Related: Awkwardly. Other formations from awk, none of them surviving, were awky, awkly, awkness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper