- 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 awkwardness
In a romantic relationship, facing humiliation or awkwardness is a strong possibility.Random Hook-Ups or Dry Spells: Why Millennials Flunk College Dating
January 1, 2015
Now for the complications and awkwardness, to say nothing of elbows and gossip and rivalries and all that other stuff.A City Hall Affair to Remember
October 22, 2014
With two Texans in the running as potential candidates, Sessions sought to diffuse any awkwardness.Republicans Panicked After Eric Cantor Loss: ‘This Is Like Robespierre’
Ben Jacobs, Tim Mak
June 11, 2014
Rather, he dishes up a seemingly endless stream of examples of pettiness, irritation, hypocrisy and awkwardness.Fear And Self-Loathing In Scandinavia: The Fiction Of Karl Ove Knausgaard
May 28, 2014
That is the awkwardness of testifying about intelligence matters in public.Spy Chief James Clapper: We Can’t Stop Another Snowden
February 24, 2014
If there's any awkwardness about it, it sha'n't be on my side.
Borrowed help has the awkwardness which Emerson attributes to borrowed thoughts.The Conquest of Fear
Could she have reckoned upon weaning me from him by a display of his awkwardness?The Bacillus of Beauty
By the awkwardness of the unpacker, the statue's thumb was broken.Tales And Novels, Volume 4 (of 10)
She felt the awkwardness of being surrounded by people with whom she was unacquainted.Tales And Novels, Volume 5 (of 10)
- 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 awkwardness
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper