[syn: awkward, ill at ease(p), uneasy]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Awkward \Awk"ward\ ([add]k"we[~e]rd), a. [Awk + -ward.]
1. Wanting dexterity in the use of the hands, or of
instruments; not dexterous; without skill; clumsy; wanting
ease, grace, or effectiveness in movement; ungraceful; as,
he was awkward at a trick; an awkward boy.
And dropped an awkward courtesy. --Dryden.
2. Not easily managed or effected; embarrassing.
A long and awkward process. --Macaulay.
An awkward affair is one that has gone wrong, and is
difficult to adjust. --C. J. Smith.
3. Perverse; adverse; untoward. [Obs.] "Awkward casualties."
"Awkward wind." --Shak.
O blind guides, which being of an awkward religion,
do strain out a gnat, and swallow up a cancel.
Syn: Ungainly; unhandy; clownish; lubberly; gawky; maladroit;
bungling; inelegant; ungraceful; unbecoming.
Usage: Awkward, Clumsy, Uncouth. Awkward has a special
reference to outward deportment. A man is clumsy in
his whole person, he is awkward in his gait and the
movement of his limbs. Clumsiness is seen at the first
view. Awkwardness is discovered only when a person
begins to move. Hence the expressions, a clumsy
appearance, and an awkward manner. When we speak
figuratively of an awkward excuse, we think of a lack
of ease and grace in making it; when we speak of a
clumsy excuse, we think of the whole thing as coarse
and stupid. We apply the term uncouth most frequently
to that which results from the lack of instruction or
training; as, uncouth manners; uncouth language.
[1913 Webster] -- Awk"ward*ly
([add]k"we[~e]rd*l[y^]), adv. -- Awk"ward*ness, n.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
adj 1: causing inconvenience; "they arrived at an awkward time"
2: lacking grace or skill in manner or movement or performance;
"an awkward dancer"; "an awkward gesture"; "too awkward with
a needle to make her own clothes"; "his clumsy fingers
produced an awkward knot" [ant: graceful]
3: difficult to handle or manage especially because of shape;
"an awkward bundle to carry"; "a load of bunglesome
paraphernalia"; "clumsy wooden shoes"; "the cello, a rather
ungainly instrument for a girl" [syn: awkward,
bunglesome, clumsy, ungainly]
4: not elegant or graceful in expression; "an awkward prose
style"; "a clumsy apology"; "his cumbersome writing style";
"if the rumor is true, can anything be more inept than to
repeat it now?" [syn: awkward, clumsy, cumbersome,
inapt, inept, ill-chosen]
5: hard to deal with; especially causing pain or embarrassment;
"awkward (or embarrassing or difficult) moments in the
discussion"; "an awkward pause followed his remark"; "a
sticky question"; "in the unenviable position of resorting to
an act he had planned to save for the climax of the campaign"
[syn: awkward, embarrassing, sticky, unenviable]
6: socially uncomfortable; unsure and constrained in manner;
"awkward and reserved at parties"; "ill at ease among eddies
of people he didn't know"; "was always uneasy with strangers"
[syn: awkward, ill at ease(p), uneasy]
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
145 Moby Thesaurus words for "awkward":
Latinate, all thumbs, blankminded, blunderheaded, blundering,
bombastic, boorish, bulky, bumbling, bungling, butterfingered,
callow, careless, clownish, clumsy, clumsy-fisted, confused,
contrary, cramped, crosswise, crushing, cumbersome, cumbrous,
dangerous, delicate, difficult, discomfited, discommodious,
disconcerted, disconcerting, disturbing, dumb, elephantine,
embarrassed, embarrassing, empty, empty-headed, fingers all thumbs,
forced, formal, fumbling, gauche, gawkish, gawky, graceless, green,
groping, guinde, halting, ham-fisted, ham-handed, hazardous, heavy,
heavy-handed, hulking, hulky, humiliating, ignorant, ill at ease,
ill-chosen, impractical, inane, incommodious, inconvenient,
inefficient, inelegant, inept, inexperienced, inexpert, inkhorn,
innocent, know-nothing, labored, leaden, left-hand, left-handed,
loutish, lubberly, lumbering, lumpish, lumpy, maladroit, massive,
massy, mortifying, naive, nescient, oafish, out of place, perilous,
perverse, pompous, ponderous, precarious, raw, rigid, risky,
sensitive, sesquipedalian, shamefaced, simple, sloppy, splay,
sticky, stiff, stilted, strange to, tentative, ticklish, touchy,
tricky, troublesome, trying, turgid, unacquainted, unapprized,
uncomfortable, uncomprehending, unconversant, uncouth, undexterous,
uneasy, unenlightened, unfamiliar, unfortunate, ungainly,
ungraceful, unhandy, unhappy, unilluminated, uninformed,
uninitiated, unintelligent, unknowing, unmanageable, unpleasant,
unposted, unripe, unskilled, unskillful, unsure, unversed,
unwieldy, vacuous, wooden