WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020 awk•ward /ˈɔkwɚd/USA pronunciation
adj. WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
awk•ward•ness, n. [uncountable]
not having much skill:an awkward dancer.
- lacking grace or ease, as in movement or posture:took an awkward swing at the ball.
- lacking social graces or manners:always feels awkward at office parties.
- difficult to use or handle:an awkward tool.
- requiring skill or tact;
difficult:an awkward situation.
(ôk′wərd),USA pronunciation adj.
- lacking skill or dexterity;
- lacking grace or ease in movement:an awkward gesture; an awkward dancer.
- lacking social graces or manners:a simple, awkward frontiersman.
- not well planned or designed for easy or effective use:an awkward instrument; an awkward method.
- requiring caution;
dangerous:an awkward turn in the road.
- hard to deal with;
requiring skill, tact, or the like:an awkward situation; an awkward customer.
- embarrassing or inconvenient;
caused by lack of social grace:an awkward moment
- 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
Etymology: 14th Century awk, from Old Norse öfugr turned the wrong way round + -wardˈawkwardly adv ˈawkwardness n
- lacking dexterity, proficiency, or skill; clumsy; inept
- ungainly or inelegant in movements or posture
- unwieldy; difficult to use
- embarrassing: an awkward moment
- embarrassed: he felt awkward about leaving
- difficult to deal with; requiring tact: an awkward situation, an awkward customer
- deliberately uncooperative or unhelpful
- dangerous or difficult
'awkward' also found in these entries: