- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈɔːkwəd/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈɔkwɚd/
- (Canada, cot–caught merger) IPA(key): /ˈɑkwɚd/
Audio (US) (file)
Audio (US) (US cot-caught merged) (file)
- Hyphenation: awk‧ward
- (obsolete) In a backwards direction.
- Lacking dexterity in the use of the hands, or of instruments.
John was awkward at performing the trick. He'll have to practice to improve.
- Not easily managed or effected; embarrassing.
That was an extremely awkward moment. Everyone was watching.
An awkward silence had fallen.
- Lacking social skills, or uncomfortable with social interaction.
I'm very awkward at parties.
Things get very awkward whenever 60-year old men use cheesy pick-up lines on me.
- Perverse; adverse; difficult to handle.
He's a right awkward chap.
These cabinets are going to be very awkward when we move.
lacking dexterity in the use of the hands
not easily managed or effected; embarrassing
perverse; adverse; untoward
awkward (plural awkwards)
- Someone or something that is awkward.
1912, Eliza Ripley, Social Life in Old New Orleans, Being Recollections of My Girlhood, New York, N.Y.; London: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 2732890:
- Another important branch of deportment was to seat the awkwards stiffly on the extreme edge of a chair, fold the hands on the very precarious lap, droop the eyes in a pensive way.
1998, Leo Marks, Between Silk and Cyanide: The Story of SOE's Code War, London: HarperCollins, ISBN 978-0-00-255944-7:
- 'What periods are you talking about?' / 'The monthly awkwards. Didn't the girls at Molyneux have them when you were managing director?' / The Rabbit leaned forward, sniffing the air in the immediate vicinity. 'Either you've been drinking or you've got some girl into trouble. Or am I being unfair to you and it's both?'