Awkwardly



lacking skill or dexterity.
Synonyms: clumsy, inept; unskillful, unhandy, inexpert.
Antonyms: deft, adroit, skillful, dexterous; handy.
lacking grace or ease in movement: an awkward gesture;
an awkward dancer.
Synonyms: uncoordinated, graceless, ungainly; gawky; maladroit; clumsy.
Antonyms: graceful.
lacking social graces or manners:
a simple, awkward frontiersman.
Synonyms: gauche, unpolished, unrefined; blundering, oafish; ill-mannered, unmannerly, ill-bred.
Antonyms: gracious; polite, well-mannered, well-bred; smooth, polished, refined.
not well planned or designed for easy or effective use: an awkward instrument;
an awkward method.
Synonyms: unwieldy, cumbersome, unmanageable; inconvenient, difficult, troublesome.
requiring caution; somewhat hazardous:
an awkward turn in the road.
Synonyms: dangerous, risky, unsafe, chancy; perilous, precarious, treacherous.
hard to deal with; difficult; requiring skill, tact, or the like: an awkward situation;
an awkward customer.
embarrassing or inconvenient; caused by lack of social grace:
an awkward moment.
Synonyms: unpleasant, trying, difficult; uncomfortable, ticklish, touchy.
Obsolete. untoward; perverse.
Contemporary Examples

Then, a succinct slaying of the awful “We Built That” meme which so awkwardly defined the convention in Tampa.
Why the GOP Lost, Part (Insert Number Here) Justin Green November 15, 2012

When Don bails the next day, and Amy awkwardly bounces, Megan is once again left all alone, and frustrated.
Mad Men’s ‘The Runaways’: Three-Way Sex and Self-Mutilation in the Craziest Episode Yet Marlow Stern May 11, 2014

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West awkwardly embrace in color-coordinated pastel suits for their re-imagined Vogue cover.
Artist Gives Celebs the ‘Natural’ Look Justin Jones July 23, 2014

On the Simenon bookshelf, it stands alone, anomalous, and awkwardly aloof.
Belgium’s Master of Noir Nathaniel Rich December 3, 2010

Mottola awkwardly complimented them, and the next day Jackson sent two of them to his office.
Speed Read: Juiciest Bits From the Tommy Mottola Memoir ‘Hitmaker’ Kevin Fallon January 30, 2013

Historical Examples

“Go ahead,” said John, awkwardly, and quite unaware of what was forthcoming.
The Cottage of Delight Will N. Harben

The situation was awkward, and awkwardly he got himself out of it.
Quaint Courtships Various

There was nothing Ansell loathed so much as the hearty Britisher; but he shook hands, and they stared at each other awkwardly.
The Longest Journey E. M. Forster

Smith swung out as awkwardly as a turkey on a chopping block.
The Cruise of the Dry Dock T. S. Stribling

Now was the opportunity for Bonaparte to take up the rôle of Cromwell which Hoche had so awkwardly played.
The Life of Napoleon I (Volumes, 1 and 2) John Holland Rose

adjective
lacking dexterity, proficiency, or skill; clumsy; inept: the new recruits were awkward in their exercises
ungainly or inelegant in movements or posture: despite a great deal of practice she remained an awkward dancer
unwieldy; difficult to use: an awkward implement
embarrassing: an awkward moment
embarrassed: he felt awkward about leaving
difficult to deal with; requiring tact: an awkward situation, an awkward customer
deliberately uncooperative or unhelpful: he could help but he is being awkward
dangerous or difficult: an awkward ascent of the ridge
(obsolete) perverse
adj.

mid-14c., “in the wrong direction,” from awk “back-handed” + adverbial suffix -weard (see -ward). Meaning “clumsy” first recorded 1520s. Related: Awkwardly. Other formations from awk, none of them surviving, were awky, awkly, awkness.

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