or un·wield·ly

[ uhn-weel-dee ]
/ ʌnˈwil di /

adjective, un·wield·i·er, un·wield·i·est.

not wieldy; wielded with difficulty; not readily handled or managed in use or action, as from size, shape, or weight; awkward; ungainly.

Nearby words

  1. unwelcome,
  2. unwelcoming,
  3. unwell,
  4. unwept,
  5. unwholesome,
  6. unwilled,
  7. unwilling,
  8. unwincing,
  9. unwind,
  10. unwinking

Origin of unwieldy

First recorded in 1350–1400, unwieldy is from the Middle English word unweldy. See un-1, wieldy

Related formsun·wield·i·ly, adverbun·wield·i·ness, noun

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

Examples from the Web for unwieldy

British Dictionary definitions for unwieldy



/ (ʌnˈwiːldɪ) /


too heavy, large, or awkwardly shaped to be easily handled
ungainly; clumsy
Derived Formsunwieldily or unwieldlily, adverbunwieldiness or unwieldliness, noun

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 unwieldy



late 14c., "lacking strength," from un- (1) "not" + Old English wielde "active, vigorous," from Proto-Germanic *walth- "have power" (see wield). Meaning "moving ungracefully" is recorded from 1520s; in reference to weapons, "difficult to handle, awkward by virtue of size or shape" it is attested from 1540s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper