Synonyms & Antonyms of gauche

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About gauche

How does the adjective gauche contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of gauche are awkward, clumsy, inept, and maladroit. While all these words mean "not marked by ease (as of performance, movement, or social conduct)," gauche implies the effects of shyness, inexperience, or ill breeding.

felt gauche and unsophisticated at formal parties

When is it sensible to use awkward instead of gauche?

The words awkward and gauche can be used in similar contexts, but awkward is widely applicable and may suggest unhandiness, inconvenience, lack of muscular control, embarrassment, or lack of tact.

periods of awkward silence

Where would clumsy be a reasonable alternative to gauche?

The synonyms clumsy and gauche are sometimes interchangeable, but clumsy implies stiffness and heaviness and so may connote inflexibility, unwieldiness, or lack of ordinary skill.

a clumsy mechanic

When would inept be a good substitute for gauche?

While in some cases nearly identical to gauche, inept often implies complete failure or inadequacy.

a hopelessly inept defense attorney

In what contexts can maladroit take the place of gauche?

The words maladroit and gauche are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, maladroit suggests a tendency to create awkward situations.

a maladroit politician

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about gauche

Time Traveler for gauche

Time Traveler

The first known use of gauche was in 1751

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about gauche

Cite this Entry

“Gauche.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

More from Merriam-Webster on gauche

Dictionary: Definition of gauche

Nglish: Translation of gauche for Spanish Speakers

Comments on gauche

What made you want to look up gauche? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!