Ungainly is the opposite of graceful, convenient, or easy. A clumsy dancer boogies in an ungainly or awkward fashion.

Though you see gain in ungainly, the word does not have to do with growing, or getting ahead. Ungainly comes from an Old Norse word meaning "not convenient" or "awkward." If you want to impress your gym teacher or sports coach, first appear ungainly and then surprise her with your great athletic ability. Applying to college can be an ungainly process without an advisor to help.

Definitions of ungainly
  1. adjective
    lacking grace in movement or posture
    “what an ungainly creature a giraffe is”
    synonyms: clumsy, clunky, gawky, unwieldy
    lacking grace or skill in manner or movement or performance
  2. adjective
    difficult to handle or manage especially because of shape
    “the cello, a rather ungainly instrument for a girl”
    synonyms: awkward, bunglesome, clumsy
    unmanageable, unwieldy
    difficult to use or handle or manage because of size or weight or shape
Word Family