Definition of clumsy
1a : lacking dexterity, nimbleness, or grace clumsy fingersb : lacking tact or subtlety a clumsy joke
2 : awkward or inefficient in use or construction : unwieldy a clumsy contraption criticized her sentence for its clumsy construction
clumsilyplay \-zə-lē\ adverb
clumsinessplay \-zē-nəs\ noun
Examples of clumsy in a Sentence
I'm sorry about spilling your wine—that was very clumsy of me.
I have very clumsy hands and tend to drop things.
She made a clumsy attempt at a joke.
Recent Examples of clumsy from the Web
His clumsy attempts to ram health care reform through Congress have stalled his agenda even though his party controls both chambers, and his ham-handed efforts to shut down the Russia investigation saddled him with a special counsel.
When an offshore wind farm was proposed near one of his golf courses in Scotland, Trump developed a fervent (and often clumsy) opposition to wind energy.
The rest of the novel is a whodunit, occasionally clumsy but entertaining.
Others have come in the Administration’s clumsy attempt to tell Walter Shaub, the head of the Office of Government Ethics, not to do his job.
WorldSo far, the country’s response to the frozen conflict has been clumsy, draconian and self-defeating—but building homes and schools could be the strategy Kiev needs.
Except that, until June 16, each graceful attempt ended prematurely with a clumsy crash.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'clumsy'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of clumsy
probably from obsolete English clumse benumbed with cold
First Known Use: circa 1598
Synonym Discussion of clumsy
CLUMSY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of clumsy for English Language Learners
: moving or doing things in a very awkward way and tending to drop or break things
: badly or awkwardly made or done
: hard to use : awkward to handle
CLUMSY Defined for Kids
Definition of clumsy for Students
1 : lacking skill or grace in movement clumsy fingers
2 : awkwardly or carelessly made or done a clumsy apology a clumsy error
3 : awkward to handle a clumsy package
Seen and Heard
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