adjective \-ˈgān-lē\

: moving in an awkward or clumsy way : not graceful

Full Definition of UNGAINLY

a :  lacking in smoothness or dexterity :  clumsy <ungainly movements>
b :  hard to handle :  unwieldy <an ungainly contraption>
:  having an awkward appearance <a large ungainly bird>
un·gain·li·ness noun

Examples of UNGAINLY

  1. He was tall and ungainly.
  2. <getting the ungainly couch up the stairs was a real chore>

Origin of UNGAINLY

obsolete gain direct, from Middle English gayn, geyn, from Old English gēn, from Old Norse gegn, from gegn, preposition, against; akin to Old English gēan- against — more at again
First Known Use: 1611


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