or un·wield·ly

[ uhn-weel-dee ]
See synonyms for unwieldy on Thesaurus.com
adjective,un·wield·i·er, un·wield·i·est.
  1. not wieldy; wielded with difficulty; not readily handled or managed in use or action, as from size, shape, or weight; awkward; ungainly.

Origin of unwieldy

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

Other words for unwieldy

Other words from unwieldy

  • un·wield·i·ly, adverb
  • un·wield·i·ness, noun

Words Nearby unwieldy

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use unwieldy in a sentence

  • But he found the weapon unwieldy, and he returned to his hotel a sadder man than he left it.

  • His body had grown unwieldy from years and lack of exercise, and his clothes were old-fashioned and, generally, dusty.

    Ancestors | Gertrude Atherton
  • His gunners pelted the unwieldy budgerows with round shot until they began to sink.

    The Red Year | Louis Tracy
  • The women, likewise, are very tall, but too muscular—they might even be termed unwieldy.

  • The Castilians would doubtless have resented the dismemberment of the unwieldy body of which they formed the head.

British Dictionary definitions for unwieldy



/ (ʌnˈwiːldɪ) /

  1. too heavy, large, or awkwardly shaped to be easily handled

  2. ungainly; clumsy

Derived forms of unwieldy

  • unwieldily or unwieldlily, adverb
  • unwieldiness 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