- awkward in movement or action; without skill or grace: He is very clumsy and is always breaking things.
- awkwardly done or made; unwieldy; ill-contrived: He made a clumsy, embarrassed apology.
Origin of clumsy
Synonyms for clumsy
Antonyms for clumsy
Related Words for clumsiestbulky, ungainly, unwieldy, inept, ponderous, heavy-handed, bungling, crude, elephantine, gauche, gawky, graceless, heavy, helpless, hulking, incompetent, inelegant, inexperienced, inexpert, lumbering
Examples from the Web for clumsiest
Historical Examples of clumsiest
That you were incapable of speaking, of using your hands save in the clumsiest fashion?The Mind Master
Arthur J. Burks
"That" was one of the clumsiest, most obvious parts of the general conspiracy to fool you.Rough-Hewn
It was hard work, because he was by far the clumsiest man I have ever known.The Seven-Branched Candlestick
Gilbert W. (Gilbert Wolf) Gabriel
The clumsiest nest of all is that which the Wood-Pigeon tries to build.The Curious Book of Birds
Abbie Farwell Brown
They were the clumsiest of biological devices, and as they handed on life they spoiled it.The Judge
- lacking in skill or physical coordination
- awkwardly constructed or contrived
Word Origin for clumsy
1590s, "acting as if benumbed," alteration of Middle English clumsid "numb with cold" (14c.), past participle of clumsen "to benumb, stiffen or paralyze with cold or fear," from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse klumsa "make speechless, palsy; prevent from speaking," intensive of kluma "to make motionless." For insertion of -s-, cf. flimsy.
Not in general use until 18c., with senses "manifesting awkwardness; so made as to be unwieldy." Related: Clumsily; clumsiness. Cf. Swedish dialectal klummsen "benumbed with cold," Norwegian klumsad (past participle) "speechless, palsied by a spasm or by fear or witchery;" German verklammen "grow stiff or numb with cold." Also cf. clumse (n.) "a stupid fellow."