[syn: awkwardness, cumbersomeness, unwieldiness]
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):
n 1: unskillfulness resulting from a lack of training [syn:
awkwardness, clumsiness, ineptness, ineptitude,
2: the quality of an embarrassing situation; "he sensed the
awkwardness of his proposal" [syn: awkwardness, nuisance
3: the carriage of someone whose movements and posture are
ungainly or inelegant [syn: awkwardness, clumsiness]
4: the inelegance of someone stiff and unrelaxed (as by
embarrassment) [syn: awkwardness, clumsiness,
5: trouble in carrying or managing caused by bulk or shape; "the
movers cursed the unwieldiness of the big piano" [syn:
awkwardness, cumbersomeness, unwieldiness]