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. [1913 Webster]

And dropped an awkward courtesy. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

2. Not easily managed or effected; embarrassing. [1913 Webster]

A long and awkward process. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

An awkward affair is one that has gone wrong, and is difficult to adjust. --C. J. Smith. [1913 Webster]

3. Perverse; adverse; untoward. [Obs.] ``Awkward casualties.'' ``Awkward wind.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

O blind guides, which being of an awkward religion, do strain out a gnat, and swallow up a cancel. --Udall. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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