- 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
- 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 un-awkward
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper