- lacking skill or dexterity.
- lacking grace or ease in movement: an awkward gesture; an awkward dancer.
- lacking social graces or manners: a simple, awkward frontiersman.
- not well planned or designed for easy or effective use: an awkward instrument; an awkward method.
- requiring caution; somewhat hazardous: an awkward turn in the road.
- hard to deal with; difficult; requiring skill, tact, or the like: an awkward situation; an awkward customer.
- embarrassing or inconvenient; caused by lack of social grace: an awkward moment.
- Obsolete. untoward; perverse.
Origin of awkward
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for awkward
Some immediately treated the young rapper as a punchline, turning his awkward posture in the photo into a meme.Bobby Shmurda and Rap’s Ultimate Hoop Dream
December 23, 2014
He sketched it quickly, his hand trembling, giving the drawing an awkward, palsied look.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
ME3M was like online sex without the sex: seedy, dehumanized, segmented, and awkward—yet often still erotic.Sneer and Clothing in Miami: Inside The $3 Billion Woodstock of Contemporary Art
December 6, 2014
He entered in an awkward alliance with Lapid to join the government but quickly distanced himself from it.Goodbye to Israel’s Lousy Government (Let’s Hope the Next One Isn’t Worse)
December 4, 2014
The Hangover star, currently in the critically acclaimed Birdman, certainly knows how to bring the funny as well as the awkward.Brad Pitt and Louis C.K. Go ‘Between Two Ferns’
Alex Chancey, The Daily Beast Video
October 23, 2014
"It's the way you're treating me," he cried, with a clumsy man's awkward attempt at gesture.Viviette
William J. Locke
The situation was awkward, and awkwardly he got himself out of it.Quaint Courtships
Never in my life did I feel so awkward as then, and it was not strange that you ridiculed me so.The Dream
In spite of the awkward sun helmet she carried her head imperiously.The Leopard Woman
Stewart Edward White
The sheep were to be washed and sheared, too, and the awkward, weak-kneed calves to be fed.In the Valley
- lacking dexterity, proficiency, or skill; clumsy; ineptthe new recruits were awkward in their exercises
- ungainly or inelegant in movements or posturedespite a great deal of practice she remained an awkward dancer
- unwieldy; difficult to usean awkward implement
- embarrassingan awkward moment
- embarrassedhe felt awkward about leaving
- difficult to deal with; requiring tactan awkward situation; an awkward customer
- deliberately uncooperative or unhelpfulhe could help but he is being awkward
- dangerous or difficultan awkward ascent of the ridge
- obsolete perverse
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
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper