unwieldy

play
adjective un·wieldy \ˌən-ˈwēl-dē\

Definition of unwieldy

  1. :  not easily managed, handled, or used (as because of bulk, weight, complexity, or awkwardness) :  cumbersome

unwieldily

play \ˌən-ˈwēl-də-lē\ adverb

unwieldiness

play \ˌən-ˈwēl-dē-nəs\ noun

unwieldy was our Word of the Day on 11/15/2012. Hear the podcast!

Examples of unwieldy in a Sentence

  1. The system is outdated and unwieldy.

  2. an unwieldy machine that requires two people to operate it

Recent Examples of unwieldy from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unwieldy'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

The verb to wield means "to handle or exert something effectively." A carpenter might wield a hammer with impressive dexterity, for example, or a talented orator might wield influence over an audience of listeners. Something that is "wieldy" is capable of being wielded easily, and while that adjective may not be particularly common, its antonym "unwieldy" finds ample use to describe anything that is awkward to handle, move, or manage. "Wield" and its relatives all derive via Middle English from Old English wieldan, meaning "to control."

1530

First Known Use of unwieldy

1530


UNWIELDY Defined for English Language Learners

unwieldy

play
adjective

Definition of unwieldy for English Language Learners

  • : difficult to handle, control, or deal with because of being large, heavy, or complex


UNWIELDY Defined for Kids

unwieldy

play
adjective un·wieldy \ˌən-ˈwēl-dē\

Definition of unwieldy for Students

  1. :  hard to handle or control because of size or weight an unwieldy class The package is not heavy, but it is unwieldy.

unwieldiness

noun


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