(adjective, adverb)


1. causing inconvenience

- they arrived at an awkward time

Similar word(s): inconvenient

2. 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

Similar word(s): maladroit, ugly, clumsy, clunky, gawky, ungainly, unwieldy, graceless, ungraceful, labored, laboured, strained, wooden

3. difficult to handle or manage especially because of shape

- an awkward bundle to carry

Similar word(s): unmanageable, unwieldy, bunglesome, clumsy, ungainly

4. not elegant or graceful in expression

- an awkward prose style

Similar word(s): infelicitous, clumsy, cumbersome, inapt, inept

5. hard to deal with; especially causing pain or embarrassment

- awkward (or embarrassing or difficult) moments in the discussion

- an awkward pause followed his remark

Similar word(s): difficult, hard, embarrassing, sticky, unenviable

6. socially uncomfortable; unsure and constrained in manner

- awkward and reserved at parties

Similar word(s): uncomfortable, uneasy

Sentences with awkward as an adjective:

- John was awkward at performing the trick. He'll have to practice to improve.

- That was an extremely awkward moment. Everyone was watching.

- An awkward silence had fallen.

- I'm very awkward at parties.

- Things get very awkward whenever 60-year old men use cheesy pick-up lines on me.

- He's a right awkward chap.

- These cabinets are going to be very awkward when we move.


1. (obsolete) In a backwards direction.