Definition of awkward
1a : lacking dexterity or skill (as in the use of hands) I'm awkward with a needle and thread.b : showing the result of a lack of expertness an awkward attempt awkward pictures
3a : lacking social grace and assurance an awkward newcomerb : causing embarrassment an awkward moment
4 : not easy to handle or deal with : requiring great skill, ingenuity, or care an awkward load an awkward diplomatic situation
5 obsolete : perverse
Examples of awkward in a sentence
Greene must have known that such men would not spill the beans about his irregular life or ask awkward questions, though Burgess famously teased him for being … a poseur, and was banished. —Paul Theroux, New York Times Book Review, 17 Oct. 2004
I was electrified by what I learned in college. Still socially awkward, I had the bad habit of stopping strangers in the street to pour my heart out about the latest marvel I had learned. —Jaron Lanier, Curious Minds, (2004) 2005
On the ground, vultures are hunched and awkward bundles of feathers, but in the air, where I watch them during much of the day, they are magnificent graceful soarers. —Words From the Land, Stephen Trimble, editor, 1988
She is awkward at dancing.
He had large feet and his walk was awkward and ungainly.
The story contained some awkward writing.
She is an awkward writer.
The machine is very awkward to operate.
I often find myself in awkward situations.
He was put in the awkward position of having to write the memo.
There was an awkward pause in the conversation.
He feels awkward with strangers.
Origin and Etymology of awkward
Middle English awkeward in the wrong direction, from awke turned the wrong way, from Old Norse ǫfugr; akin to Old High German abuh turned the wrong way
First Known Use: 1530
Synonym Discussion of awkward
AWKWARD Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of awkward for English Language Learners
: not graceful
: lacking skill
: difficult to use or handle
AWKWARD Defined for Kids
Definition of awkward for Students
1 : not graceful : clumsy an awkward dancer
2 : likely to embarrass an awkward question
3 : difficult to use or handle awkward tools
awkwardnessnoun After a moment of awkwardness, I remembered who she was.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up awkward? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).