awkward


From 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.
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            And dropped an awkward courtesy.      --Dryden.
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   2. Not easily managed or effected; embarrassing.
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            A long and awkward process.           --Macaulay.
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            An awkward affair is one that has gone wrong, and is
            difficult to adjust.                  --C. J. Smith.
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   3. Perverse; adverse; untoward. [Obs.] "Awkward casualties."
      "Awkward wind." --Shak.
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            O blind guides, which being of an awkward religion,
            do strain out a gnat, and swallow up a cancel.
                                                  --Udall.
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   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.
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