Awkward – Definition, Meaning, Synonyms & Antonyms

Awkward – Definition, Meaning, Synonyms & Antonyms

Awkward meaning is lacking ease or grace. It is often leading to discomfort or embarrassment in social, physical, or situational contexts.

History of the Word Awkward

Early Use

This term has been used in the English language since the late 16th century, originating from the Middle English word “awkward,” meaning in the wrong direction.

Evolution in Meaning

Initially,  primarily referred to incorrect or clumsy movement or behavior. Over time, it broadened to encompass situations causing social discomfort and eventually extended to describe anything uncomfortable or inconvenient.

Cultural and Linguistic Shifts

It has always been a part of human experience, but its definition has evolved with societal norms, language, and the changing nature of social interactions.

Contemporary Usage

Today, awkward meaning is a versatile term used to describe a wide range of uncomfortable or clumsy situations and behaviors in various contexts, from social interactions to physical movements.

English(Awkward As Adjective)


The term awkward likely originated from Middle English awkward, meaning in the wrong direction or backhanded.


Pronunciation of Awkward:/ˈɔːkwərd/.

Forms of Awkward

Adjective Awkward
Comparative Degree more awkward
Superlative Degree most awkward
Adverb awkwardly
Noun awkwardness


  • Clumsy
  • Uncomfortable
  • Inelegant
  • Ungainly
  • Ungraceful
  • Embarrassing
  • Cringeworthy
  • Difficult


  • graceful
  • elegant
  • poised
  • confident
  • comfortable
  • easygoing
  • smooth
  • effortless

Derived Terms

  • Awkwardly
  • Awkwardness

Translations of Awkward

  • Hindi: कठिन (kathin)
  • Urdu: پیچیدہ (paicheeda)
  • Spanish: incómodo
  • French: maladroit
  • German: ungeschickt
  • Chinese (Simplified): 尴尬的 (gāngà de)
  • Arabic: محرج (muharrij)
  • Russian: неуклюжий (neuklyuzhiy)
  • Japanese: 不器用な (bukiyou na)
  • Italian: imbarazzante

Example Sentences

  • His awkward attempt at dancing drew laughter.
  • The conversation turned awkward after the disagreement.
  • She felt awkward in the unfamiliar surroundings.

FAQS (People May Also Ask)

Q1: What causes social awkwardness?

Ans: It can result from shyness, unfamiliarity, or fear of judgment.

Q2: Is awkwardness always negative?

Ans: Not necessarily; it can be endearing or relatable in some situations.

Q3: How can one overcome social awkwardness?

Ans: Practice, self-confidence, and empathy can help.

Q4: Can awkwardness be a sign of creativity?

Ans: Yes, some creative individuals embrace their quirks and unique perspectives.

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