English Dictionary

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awkward (ˈɔːkwəd



  1. lacking dexterity, proficiency, or skill; clumsy; inept   ⇒  ■ the new recruits were awkward in their exercises
  2. ungainly or inelegant in movements or posture   ⇒  ■ despite a great deal of practice she remained an awkward dancer
  3. unwieldy; difficult to use   ⇒  ■ an awkward implement
  4. embarrassing   ⇒  ■ an awkward moment
  5. embarrassed   ⇒  ■ he felt awkward about leaving
  6. difficult to deal with; requiring tact   ⇒  ■ an awkward situation,   ⇒  ■ an awkward customer
  7. deliberately uncooperative or unhelpful   ⇒  ■ he could help but he is being awkward
  8. dangerous or difficult   ⇒  ■ an awkward ascent of the ridge
  9. (obsolete) perverse

Derived Forms

ˈawkwardly  adverb
ˈawkwardness  noun

Word Origin

C14 awk, from Old Norse öfugr turned the wrong way round + -ward


View thesaurus entry
= embarrassing, difficult, compromising, sensitive, embarrassed, painful, distressing, delicate, uncomfortable, tricky, trying, humiliating, unpleasant, sticky (informal), troublesome, perplexing, disconcerting, inconvenient, thorny, untimely, ill at ease, discomfiting, ticklish, inopportune, toe-curling (slang), barro (Australian) (slang), cringeworthy (British) (informal), cringe-making (British) (informal)
= clumsy, stiff, rude, blundering, coarse, bungling, lumbering, inept, unskilled, bumbling, unwieldy, ponderous, ungainly, gauche, gawky, uncouth, unrefined, artless, inelegant, uncoordinated, graceless, cack-handed (informal), unpolished, clownish, oafish, inexpert, maladroit, ill-bred, all thumbs, ungraceful, skill-less, unskilful, butterfingered (informal), unhandy, ham-fisted or ham-handed (informal), unco (Australian) (slang)

Translations for 'awkward'

  • British English: awkward An awkward situation is embarrassing and difficult to deal with.It was a bit awkward for me.ˈɔːkwəd ADJECTIVE
  • Arabic: مُحْرِج
  • Brazilian Portuguese: desajeitado desajeitada
  • Chinese: 笨拙的
  • Croatian: neugodan
  • Czech: trapný
  • Danish: akavet
  • Dutch: lastig
  • European Spanish: incómodo incómodaembarazoso
  • Finnish: kömpelö
  • French: gauchemaladroit
  • German: ungünstig
  • Greek: αδέξιος αδέξια
  • Italian: imbarazzante
  • Japanese: 不器用な
  • Korean: 서투른
  • Norwegian: keitet
  • Polish: dziwny dziwna
  • Portuguese: embaraçoso embaraçosa
  • Romanian: incomod incomodă, incomozi, incomode
  • Russian: затруднительный
  • Spanish: incómodo incómodaembarazoso
  • Swedish: generad generat
  • Thai: งุ่มง่าม
  • Turkish: aksi, beceriksiz, ters, sıkıntılı
  • Ukrainian: незручний
  • Vietnamese: ngượng ngịu

Example Sentences Including 'awkward'

Now a number of things have happened which have made the agent's life awkward.
They said their farewells on the doorstep, stepping into an awkward hug, his lips brushing the soft skin under her ear.
Chavasse suddenly felt awkward under the keen scrutiny of that single eye.
Jack Higgins THE KEYS OF HELL (2002)


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