Thesaurus

awkward

adjective

Synonyms and Antonyms of awkward

  1. 1 lacking social grace and assurance preteens feeling awkward at their first formal dance Synonyms of awkward clumsy, gauche, graceless, inelegant, rough-hewn, rustic (also rustical), stiff, stilted, uncomfortable, uneasy, ungraceful, wooden Words Related to awkward angular, gawky, lubberly, ungainly; boorish, clownish, uncouth; abashed, discomfited, discomforted, discomposed, disconcerted, discountenanced, embarrassed; self-conscious; agitated, bothered, chagrined, dismayed, disquieted, distressed, disturbed, fazed, flustered, jittery, jumpy, mortified, nervous, nonplussed (also nonplused), perturbed, rattled, unhinged, unsettled, upset; diffident, insecure, meek, modest, self-doubting, timid, unassertive, unassuming, unpretentious Near Antonyms of awkward assured, calm, collected, composed, confident, cool, placid, poised, secure, self-assured, self-confident, self-possessed, serene, tranquil, undisturbed, unperturbed Antonyms of awkward graceful, suave, urbane

  2. 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 Synonyms of awkward botched, bungling, clumsy, fumbled, inept, inexpert, maladroit Words Related to awkward amateur, amateurish, crude, green, incompetent, ineffectual, inefficient, inexperienced, unpolished, unprofessional, unskilled, unskillful; careless, sloppy, tacky, tactless, undiplomatic; ill-advised, ineffective, ineffectual, misdirected, misguided Near Antonyms of awkward able, accomplished, adept, capable, clever, competent, consummate, crackerjack, expert, masterful, masterly, polished, professional, proficient, skilled, skillful, talented; diplomatic, easy, effortless, gracious, smooth, tactful Antonyms of awkward adroit, deft, dexterous (also dextrous), facile

  3. 3 causing embarrassment the awkward situation of having to listen as your host and hostess quarrel loudly in the next room Synonyms of awkward discomfiting, disconcerting, disturbing, embarrassing, flustering, uncomfortable Words Related to awkward confusing, difficult, disagreeable, impossible, inconvenient, intolerable, troublesome, unpleasant, unwieldy; unsettling; debasing, degrading, demeaning, humbling, humiliating, mortifying Near Antonyms of awkward agreeable, comfortable, convenient, pleasing

  4. 4 causing difficulty, discomfort, or annoyance our surprise guests came at a very awkward time Synonyms of awkward inconvenient, discommoding, disobliging, incommodingWords Related to awkward bothersome, burdensome, onerous, troublesome; annoying, disturbing, exasperating, frustrating, galling, irksome, irritating, maddening, nagging, nettlesome, riling, vexatious, vexingNear Antonyms of awkward acceptable, bearable, endurable, sufferable, tolerable; advantageous, desirable, good, helpfulAntonyms of awkward convenient, ultraconvenient

  5. 5 difficult to use or operate especially because of size, weight, or design that manual can opener is awkward to hold Synonyms of awkward cumbersome, bunglesome, clumsy, clunky, cranky, cumbrous, ponderous, ungainly, unhandy, unwieldyWords Related to awkward uncontrollable, unmanageable; bulky, dinosaurian, dinosauric, elephantine, heavy, hulking, massive; impracticable, impracticalNear Antonyms of awkward functional, practicable, practical, serviceable, usefulAntonyms of awkward handy

  6. 6 having or showing an inability to move in a graceful manner an awkward person who is always tripping over herself Synonyms of awkward clumsy, gawkish, gawky, graceless, klutzy, uncoordinated, ungainlyWords Related to awkward galumphing, larruping [dialect], lubberly, lumbering, lumpish, shambling, shuffling, unsteady, wobbly (also wabbly)Near Antonyms of awkward light, light-footed (also light-foot), lissome (also lissom), lithe, nimble, sure-footedAntonyms of awkward coordinated, graceful

  7. 7 lacking or showing a lack of nimbleness in using one's hands an awkward catch of a fly ball Synonyms of awkward clumsy, butterfingered, cack-handed [British], graceless, ham-fisted, ham-handed, handless, heavy-handed, left-handed, maladroit, unhandyWords Related to awkward uncoordinated; bunglesome, bungling, gauche, inept, inexpert, unskilled, unskillfulNear Antonyms of awkward expert, masterly, skilled, skillful; coordinatedAntonyms of awkward deft, dexterous (also dextrous), handy, sure-handed

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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