UK:*UK and possibly other pronunciationsUK and possibly other pronunciations/ˈɔːkwərd/US:USA pronunciation: IPA and respellingUSA pronuncation: IPA/ˈɔkwɚd/ ,USA pronunciation: respelling(ôkwərd)

WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
awk•ward /ˈɔkwɚd/USA pronunciation   adj. 
  1. clumsy;
    not having much skill:an awkward dancer.
  2. lacking grace or ease, as in movement or posture:took an awkward swing at the ball.
  3. lacking social graces or manners:always feels awkward at office parties.
  4. difficult to use or handle:an awkward tool.
  5. requiring skill or tact;
    difficult:an awkward situation.
awk•ward•ly, adv. 
awk•ward•ness, n. [uncountable]

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
awk•ward  (ôkwərd),USA pronunciation adj. 
  1. lacking skill or dexterity;
  2. lacking grace or ease in movement:an awkward gesture; an awkward dancer.
  3. lacking social graces or manners:a simple, awkward frontiersman.
  4. not well planned or designed for easy or effective use:an awkward instrument; an awkward method.
  5. requiring caution;
    somewhat hazardous;
    dangerous:an awkward turn in the road.
  6. hard to deal with;
    requiring skill, tact, or the like:an awkward situation; an awkward customer.
  7. embarrassing or inconvenient;
    caused by lack of social grace:an awkward moment
  8. [Obs.]untoward;
awkward•ly, adv. 
awkward•ness, n. 
  • Old Norse ǫfugr turned the wrong way; cognate with Old Saxon, Old High German abuh, Old English afu(h)lic wrong, off) + -ward -ward
  • Middle English, equivalent. to awk(e), auk(e) backhanded, Old English *afoc ( 1300–50
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged unskillful, unhandy, inexpert.
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged deft, adroit.
    • 2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged graceful.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
awkward /ˈɔːkwəd/ adj
  1. lacking dexterity, proficiency, or skill; clumsy; inept
  2. ungainly or inelegant in movements or posture
  3. unwieldy; difficult to use
  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
  8. dangerous or difficult
Etymology: 14th Century awk, from Old Norse öfugr turned the wrong way round + -ward

ˈawkwardly adv ˈawkwardness n
'awkward' also found in these entries:

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