Nearby words

  1. awheel,
  2. awhile,
  3. awhirl,
  4. awing,
  5. awk,
  6. awkward age,
  7. awkwardly,
  8. awkwardness,
  9. awl,
  10. awl snail

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for awkwardness

British Dictionary definitions for awkwardness



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
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 awkwardness
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper