lacking social grace, sensitivity, or acuteness; awkward; crude; tactless: Their exquisite manners always make me feel gauche.

Origin of gauche

1745–55; < French: awkward, left; Middle French, derivative of gauchir to turn, veer < Germanic
Related formsgauche·ly, adverbgauche·ness, noun
Can be confusedgauche gouache

Synonyms for gauche

à gauche

[a gohsh]

adverb French.

on or to the left-hand side. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gauche

Contemporary Examples of gauche

Historical Examples of gauche

  • He came forward with a gauche gallantry, and offered his arm to Horatia.

  • The gauche boy gone from him, Milt took her hand, pressed it to his cheek.

    Free Air

    Sinclair Lewis

  • If she were not so tall!how can one be anything but gauche with a figure like that?

  • There is, even, in the architecture of Winnipeg, a sort of gauche pride visible.

  • He felt awkward, gauche, tongue-tied, hot and cold by turns.

British Dictionary definitions for gauche



lacking ease of manner; tactless
Derived Formsgauchely, adverbgaucheness, noun

Word Origin for gauche

C18: French: awkward, left, from Old French gauchir to swerve, ultimately of Germanic origin; related to Old High German wankōn to stagger
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 gauche

"awkward, tactless," 1751 (Chesterfield), from French gauche "left" (15c., replacing Old French senestre in that sense), originally "awkward, awry," from Middle French gauchir "turn aside, swerve," from Old French gaucher "trample, reel, walk clumsily," from Frankish *welkan "to full" (cloth), from Proto-Germanic *wankjan (cf. Old High German wankon, Old Norse vakka "to stagger, totter;" see wink (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper