If you are awkward, chances are you are uncomfortable. You could feel socially awkward, like when you forget the host's name. Or, you may feel physically awkward, like when you trip on your way to the podium.

Have you ever felt clumsy and that you had two left feet? That is how it is to feel awkward — literally that you are going in the wrong direction. Awkward is an example of a word literally meaning something and then figuratively meaning something related. Its Middle English roots are awke, meaning "backhanded," and -ward, to "go in the direction of." So, if you are feeling uncomfortable, or clumsy, it's probably because your hands are connected to you the wrong way!

Definitions of awkward

adj lacking grace or skill in manner or movement or performance

“an awkward dancer”
“an awkward gesture”
“too awkward with a needle to make her own clothes”
“his clumsy fingers produced an awkward knot”
not adroit
displeasing to the senses
clumsy, clunky, gawky, ungainly, unwieldy
lacking grace in movement or posture
graceless, ungraceful
lacking grace; clumsy
labored, laboured, strained
lacking natural ease
lacking ease or grace
characterized by beauty of movement, style, form, or execution
delighting the senses or exciting intellectual or emotional admiration
refined and tasteful in appearance or behavior or style
displaying effortless beauty and simplicity in movement or execution
fluent, fluid, liquid, smooth
smooth and unconstrained in movement
graceful and pleasing
gracile, willowy
slender and graceful
lissom, lissome, lithe, lithesome, slender, supple, svelte, sylphlike
moving and bending with ease
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adj not elegant or graceful in expression

“an awkward prose style”
clumsy, cumbersome, ill-chosen, inapt, inept
not appropriate in application; defective

adj socially uncomfortable; unsure and constrained in manner

awkward and reserved at parties”
ill at ease, uneasy
conducive to or feeling mental discomfort

adj difficult to handle or manage especially because of shape

“an awkward bundle to carry”
bunglesome, clumsy, ungainly
unmanageable, unwieldy
difficult to use or handle or manage because of size or weight or shape

adj hard to deal with; especially causing pain or embarrassment

awkward (or embarrassing or difficult) moments in the discussion”
“an awkward pause followed his remark”
embarrassing, sticky, unenviable
difficult, hard
not easy; requiring great physical or mental effort to accomplish or comprehend or endure

adj causing inconvenience

“they arrived at an awkward time”
not suited to your comfort, purpose or needs

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