Definitions for awkwardˈɔk wərd

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word awkward

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

awk•wardˈɔk wərd(adj.)

  1. lacking skill or dexterity; clumsy.

  2. lacking grace or ease, as in movement or posture:

    an awkward gesture.

  3. lacking social graces or manners.

  4. ill-adapted for ease of use or handling:

    an awkward tool.

  5. requiring caution; somewhat hazardous; dangerous:

    an awkward turn in the road.

  6. hard to deal with; difficult; requiring skill or tact:

    an awkward situation.

  7. embarrassing or inconvenient; caused by lack of social grace:

    an awkward moment.

  8. Obs. untoward; perverse.

Origin of awkward:

1300–50; ME, =awk(e) backhanded, OE *afoc (< ON ǫfugr turned the wrong way) + -ward -ward


Princeton's WordNet

  1. awkward(adj)

    causing inconvenience

    "they arrived at an awkward time"

  2. awkward(adj)

    lacking grace or skill in manner or movement or performance

    "an awkward dancer"; "an awkward gesture"; "too awkward with a needle to make her own clothes"; "his clumsy fingers produced an awkward knot"

  3. awkward, bunglesome, clumsy, ungainly(adj)

    difficult to handle or manage especially because of shape

    "an awkward bundle to carry"; "a load of bunglesome paraphernalia"; "clumsy wooden shoes"; "the cello, a rather ungainly instrument for a girl"

  4. awkward, clumsy, cumbersome, inapt, inept, ill-chosen(adj)

    not elegant or graceful in expression

    "an awkward prose style"; "a clumsy apology"; "his cumbersome writing style"; "if the rumor is true, can anything be more inept than to repeat it now?"

  5. awkward, embarrassing, sticky, unenviable(adj)

    hard to deal with; especially causing pain or embarrassment

    "awkward (or embarrassing or difficult) moments in the discussion"; "an awkward pause followed his remark"; "a sticky question"; "in the unenviable position of resorting to an act he had planned to save for the climax of the campaign"

  6. awkward, ill at ease(p), uneasy(adj)

    socially uncomfortable; unsure and constrained in manner

    "awkward and reserved at parties"; "ill at ease among eddies of people he didn't know"; "was always uneasy with strangers"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. awkward(adjective)ˈɔk wərd

    causing embarrassment

    an awkward question; It's a little awkward not to invite her.

  2. awkwardˈɔk wərd

    not graceful; = clumsy

    awkward movements

  3. awkwardˈɔk wərd

    difficult to use

    The bottle top was awkward to get back on.


  1. awkward(Adverb)

    In a backwards direction.

  2. awkward(Adjective)

    Lacking dexterity in the use of the hands, or of instruments

    John was awkward at performing the trick. He'll have to practise to improve.

  3. awkward(Adjective)

    Not easily managed or effected; embarrassing

    That was an extremely awkward moment. Everyone was watching.

  4. awkward(Adjective)

    Lacking social skills, or uncomfortable with social interaction

  5. awkward(Adjective)

    Perverse; adverse; difficult to handle

Webster Dictionary

  1. Awkward(adj)

    wanting dexterity in the use of the hands, or of instruments; not dexterous; without skill; clumsy; wanting ease, grace, or effectiveness in movement; ungraceful; as, he was awkward at a trick; an awkward boy

  2. Awkward(adj)

    not easily managed or effected; embarrassing

  3. Awkward(adj)

    perverse; adverse; untoward


  1. Awkward

    Awkward is an album by Ty. It was released in 2001 on Ninja Tune records.

British National Corpus

  1. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'awkward' in Written Corpus Frequency: #2554

  2. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'awkward' in Adjectives Frequency: #741

Translations for awkward

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


not graceful or elegant

an awkward movement.

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