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- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈɔːkwəd/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈɔkwɚd/
- (Canada, cot–caught merger) IPA(key): /ˈɑkwɚd/
Audio (US) (file) Audio (US) (US cot-caught merged) (file) Audio (AU) (file)
- Hyphenation: awk‧ward
- (obsolete) In a backwards direction.
- 1470–1485 (date produced), Thomas Malory, “Capitulum X”, in [Le Morte Darthur], book V, [London: […] by William Caxton], published 31 July 1485, OCLC 71490786; republished as H[einrich] Oskar Sommer, editor, Le Morte Darthur […], London: David Nutt, […], 1889, OCLC 890162034::
- Than groned the knyght for his grymme woundis, and gyrdis to Sir Gawayne and awkewarde hym strykes, and […] kut thorow a vayne […].
- Lacking dexterity in the use of the hands, or of instruments.
- Not easily managed or effected; embarrassing.
- That was an extremely awkward moment. Everyone was watching.
- An awkward silence had fallen.
- Lacking social skills, or uncomfortable with social interaction.
- Perverse; adverse; difficult to handle.
- He's a right awkward chap.
- These cabinets are going to be very awkward when we move.
- 2020 August 26, Andrew Mourant, “Reinforced against future flooding”, in Rail, page 61:
- Clearing up rock and fallen vegetation at such an awkward site required a team of specialist geoengineers.
lacking dexterity in the use of the hands
not easily managed or effected; embarrassing
perverse; adverse; untoward
awkward (plural awkwards)
- Someone or something that is awkward.
- 1912, Eliza Ripley, Social Life in Old New Orleans, Being Recollections of My Girlhood, New York, N.Y.; London: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 2732890:
- 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.
- 1998, Leo Marks, Between Silk and Cyanide: The Story of SOE's Code War, London: HarperCollins, →ISBN:
- 'What periods are you talking about?' / 'The monthly awkwards. Didn't the girls at Molyneux have them when you were managing director?' / The Rabbit leaned forward, sniffing the air in the immediate vicinity. 'Either you've been drinking or you've got some girl into trouble. Or am I being unfair to you and it's both?'