Definition of awkward adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈɔːkwəd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɔːkwərd//
    Position and movement, Embarrassment
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  1. 1  making you feel embarrassed There was an awkward silence. I felt awkward because they obviously wanted to be alone. See related entries: Embarrassment
  2. 2  difficult to deal with synonym difficult Don't ask awkward questions. You've put me in an awkward position. an awkward customer (= a person who is difficult to deal with) Please don't be awkward about letting him come. It makes things awkward for everyone when you behave like that.
  3. 3  not convenient synonym inconvenient Have I come at an awkward time?
  4. 4  difficult or dangerous because of its shape or design This box is very awkward for one person to carry. This tool will reach into awkward corners, such as under kitchen units.
  5. 5  not moving in an easy way; not comfortable He tried to dance, but he was too clumsy and awkward. I must have slept in an awkward position—I'm aching all over. See related entries: Position and movement
  6. Word Originlate Middle English (in the sense ‘the wrong way round, upside down’): from dialect awk ‘backwards, perverse, clumsy’ (from Old Norse afugr ‘turned the wrong way’) + -ward.Extra examples He always sounded awkward on the phone. He could make things very awkward for me if he wanted to. He was embarrassed, which made him awkward. I was the most socially awkward person you could imagine. She asked some rather awkward questions. She is awkward with people she doesn’t know. They felt awkward about having to leave so soon. Don’t ask awkward questions. He can be an awkward customer. He was in an awkward situation and I thought he handled it very well. Please don’t be awkward about letting him come. That’s a bit awkward for me—could we make it earlier? There was an awkward moment when they asked about his wife. You’ve put me in an awkward position.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: awkward

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