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Word of the Day
Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Definitions for maladroit

  1. unskillful; awkward; bungling; tactless; lacking in adroitness: to handle a diplomatic crisis in a very maladroit way.

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Citations for maladroit
He asked a thousand pardons of Madame la Duchesse for being so maladroit. William Makepeace Thackeray, The Newcomes, 1855
Nixon’s maladroit attempt to be one of the boys indicates an important advance that shows up in the taping. Clive Irving, "Watergate Didn't Reveal Nixon's Demons—David Frost Did," Daily Beast, May 27, 2017
Origin of maladroit
English maladroit is a direct borrowing from French. The first element, mal-, is from the French adverb and combining form mal- “badly, ill,” from the Latin adverb male with the same meaning. The second element is the French adjective adroit “skillful, deft,” in origin a prepositional phrase à droit (also à dreit) “by or according to right; correctly.” The element à is from Latin ad “to, up to, towards.” Dreit (droit) is the French development of Vulgar Latin drēctum, drictum “straightened, straight,” from Latin dīrectum, dērectum “straight, right.” Maladroit entered English in the 17th century.
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