unwieldy was our Word of the Day on 11/15/2012. Hear the podcast!
Examples of unwieldy in a Sentence
The system is outdated and unwieldy.
an unwieldy machine that requires two people to operate it
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."
First Known Use of unwieldy
UNWIELDY Defined for English Language Learners
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
Definition of unwieldy for Students
: hard to handle or control because of size or weight an unwieldy class The package is not heavy, but it is unwieldy.
Seen and Heard
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