awkward

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From awk ‎(odd, clumsy) +‎ -ward.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adverb[edit]

awkward ‎(comparative more awkward, superlative most awkward)

  1. (obsolete) In a backwards direction.
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte d'Arthur, book V, chapter x:
      Than groned the knyght for his grymme woundis, and gyrdis to Sir Gawayne and awkewarde hym strykes, and [] kut thorow a vayne [].

Adjective[edit]

awkward ‎(comparative awkwarder or more awkward, superlative awkwardest or most awkward)

  1. Lacking dexterity in the use of the hands, or of instruments.
    John was awkward at performing the trick. He'll have to practice to improve.
  2. Not easily managed or effected; embarrassing.
    That was an extremely awkward moment. Everyone was watching.
    An awkward silence had fallen.
  3. Lacking social skills, or uncomfortable with social interaction.
    I'm very awkward at parties.
    Things get very awkward whenever 60-year old men use cheesy pick-up lines on me.
  4. Perverse; adverse; difficult to handle.
    He's a right awkward chap.
    These cabinets are going to be very awkward when we move.

Synonyms[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

awkward ‎(plural awkwards)

  1. Someone or something that is awkward.
    • 2013, Leo Marks, Between Silk and Cyanide: A Code Maker's War 1941-45, page link:
      'The monthly awkwards
    • 1975, ‎Eliza Ripley, Social Life in Old New Orleans, page 12:
      Another important branch of deportment was to seat the awkwards stiffly on the extreme edge of a chair, fold the hands on the very precarious lap, droop the eyes in a pensive way.
    • 2014, Grace Helbig, Grace's Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be a Grown-up, page 76:
      That is a way to make awkwards. And it's not fun to hang out with awkwards more than once.