: lacking dexterity or skill (as in the use of hands)
I'm awkward with a needle and thread.
: showing the result of a lack of expertness
an awkward attempt
: lacking social grace and assurance
an awkward newcomer
: causing embarrassment
an awkward moment
: not easy to handle or deal with : requiring great skill, ingenuity, or care
an awkward load
an awkward diplomatic situation
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 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 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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web The show’s two-hour runtime resulted in a refreshingly quick pace, but there were still some obvious time-stretching moments backstage with Bobby Bones interviewing nominees, and awkward post-performance interviews by Brooks. —Jon Freeman, Rolling Stone, 12 May 2023 At last: a folding smartphone that won’t feel super awkward in your back pocket. —Chris Velazco, Washington Post, 10 May 2023 Speculation about Forte’s status began to bubble up after video hit social media Friday that seemed to show the horse taking an awkward step during his Thursday morning gallop. —Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, 6 May 2023 Rob's energy is at once awkward and weirdly intense—a uniquely unappealing combo. —A.a. Dowd, Chron, 5 May 2023 The format allows the producers (a team led by Tony Phelan and Joan Rater) to take the time to get to know the various players, including Miep and Jan’s sweet, awkward courtship. —Brian Lowry, CNN, 1 May 2023 What to Consider The design can leave tote handles in an awkward position against your neck and head when worn as a backpack. —Katherine Alex Beaven, Travel + Leisure, 27 Apr. 2023 This isn’t Scream’s first appearance in Yellowjackets, as Shauna saw that Jackie had written about it in her diary during that awkward visit to Jackie’s Mom back in season one. —Matthew Jackson, Vulture, 21 Apr. 2023 And while Ocean has not personally detailed the extent of the injury or discussed the staging many described as awkward, former hockey players and Empty Netters podcast hosts Dan and Chris Powers were more than happy to spill the tea on what the puck happened on Tuesday’s edition of their show. —Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 20 Apr. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'awkward.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
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