Thesaurus

awkward

Synonyms and Antonyms of awkward

2 showing or marked by a lack of skill and tact (as in dealing with a situation)

  • her awkward handling of the seating arrangements at the wedding reception resulted in many hurt feelings
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3 causing embarrassment

  • the awkward situation of having to listen as your host and hostess quarrel loudly in the next room
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4 causing difficulty, discomfort, or annoyance

  • our surprise guests came at a very awkward time
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5 difficult to use or operate especially because of size, weight, or design

  • that manual can opener is awkward to hold
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6 having or showing an inability to move in a graceful manner

  • an awkward person who is always tripping over herself
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7 lacking or showing a lack of nimbleness in using one's hands

  • an awkward catch of a fly ball
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Phrases Synonymous with awkward

all thumbs

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Synonym Discussion of awkward

awkward, clumsy, maladroit, inept, gauche mean not marked by ease (as of performance, movement, or social conduct). awkward is widely applicable and may suggest unhandiness, inconvenience, lack of muscular control, embarrassment, or lack of tact.
    • periods of awkward silence
clumsy implies stiffness and heaviness and so may connote inflexibility, unwieldiness, or lack of ordinary skill.
    • a clumsy mechanic
maladroit suggests a tendency to create awkward situations.
    • a maladroit politician
inept often implies complete failure or inadequacy.
    • a hopelessly inept defense attorney
gauche implies the effects of shyness, inexperience, or ill breeding.
    • felt gauche and unsophisticated at formal parties

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