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See more synonyms for maladroit on Thesaurus.com
  1. lacking in adroitness; unskillful; awkward; bungling; tactless: to handle a diplomatic crisis in a very maladroit way.
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Origin of maladroit

1665–75; < French, Middle French; see mal-, adroit
Related formsmal·a·droit·ly, adverbmal·a·droit·ness, noun


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for maladroitness

Historical Examples

  • Its proprietor said what he could in extenuation of its maladroitness.

    When Ghost Meets Ghost

    William Frend De Morgan

  • If he had planned a campaign of maladroitness he could not have more happily fulfilled his object.

  • His good-natured smile at my maladroitness I treasured up as a deadly wrong.

  • Bartrow saw the plea and the pathos of it, and added one more to the innumerable contemnings of his own maladroitness.

    The Helpers

    Francis Lynde

  • This being the case, Lucilla's good humour was perfectly restored, and she had forgiven Tom his maladroitness.

    Miss Marjoribanks

    Mrs (Margaret) Oliphant

British Dictionary definitions for maladroitness


  1. showing or characterized by clumsiness; not dexterous
  2. tactless and insensitive in behaviour or speech
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Derived Formsmaladroitly, adverbmaladroitness, noun

Word Origin

C17: from French, from mal badly + adroit
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 maladroitness



1670s, from mal- + adroit. Related: Maladroitly; maladroitness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper