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awkward (adv., adj.)

mid-14c. (adv.), "in the wrong direction," from awk "back-handed" + adverbial suffix -weard (see -ward). The original sense is obsolete. As an adjective, "turned the wrong way," 1510s. Meaning "clumsy, wanting ease and grace in movement" recorded by 1520s. Of persons, the meaning "embarrassed, ill-at-ease" is from 1713s. Related: Awkwardly. Other 15c.-17c. formations from awk, none of them surviving, were awky, awkly, awkness.

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Definitions of awkward

awkward (adj.)
socially uncomfortable; unsure and constrained in manner;
awkward and reserved at parties
Synonyms: ill at ease / uneasy
awkward (adj.)
causing inconvenience;
they arrived at an awkward time
awkward (adj.)
lacking grace or skill in manner or movement or performance;
too awkward with a needle to make her own clothes
an awkward gesture
an awkward dancer
his clumsy fingers produced an awkward knot
awkward (adj.)
difficult to handle or manage especially because of shape;
an awkward bundle to carry
Synonyms: bunglesome / clumsy / ungainly
awkward (adj.)
not elegant or graceful in expression;
an awkward prose style
Synonyms: clumsy / cumbersome / inapt / inept / ill-chosen
awkward (adj.)
hard to deal with; especially causing pain or embarrassment;
an awkward pause followed his remark
awkward (or embarrassing or difficult) moments in the discussion
Synonyms: embarrassing / sticky / unenviable
From wordnet.princeton.edu

Dictionary entries near awkward

awhile

awhirl

*awi-

awing

awk

awkward

awkwardness

awl

awn

awning

awoke