awkward

[awk-werd]
adjective
1.
lacking skill or dexterity. clumsy, inept; unskillful, unhandy, inexpert. deft, adroit, skillful, dexterous; handy.
2.
lacking grace or ease in movement: an awkward gesture; an awkward dancer. uncoordinated, graceless, ungainly; gawky; maladroit; clumsy. graceful.
3.
lacking social graces or manners: a simple, awkward frontiersman. gauche, unpolished, unrefined; blundering, oafish; ill-mannered, unmannerly, ill-bred. gracious; polite, well-mannered, well-bred; smooth, polished, refined.
4.
not well planned or designed for easy or effective use: an awkward instrument; an awkward method. unwieldy, cumbersome, unmanageable; inconvenient, difficult, troublesome.
5.
requiring caution; somewhat hazardous: an awkward turn in the road. dangerous, risky, unsafe, chancy; perilous, precarious, treacherous.
6.
hard to deal with; difficult; requiring skill, tact, or the like: an awkward situation; an awkward customer.
7.
embarrassing or inconvenient; caused by lack of social grace: an awkward moment. unpleasant, trying, difficult; uncomfortable, ticklish, touchy.
8.
Obsolete. untoward; perverse.

Origin:
1300–50; Middle English, equivalent to awk(e), auk(e) ‘backhanded’, Old English *afoc (< Old Norse ǫfugr ‘turned the wrong way’; cognate with Old Saxon, Old High German abuh, Old English afu(h)lic ‘wrong’, off) + -ward -ward

awkwardly, adverb
awkwardness, noun
unawkward, adjective
unawkwardly, adverb
unawkwardness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To awkwardness
Collins
World English Dictionary
awkward (ˈɔːkwəd)
 
adj
1.  lacking dexterity, proficiency, or skill; clumsy; inept: the new recruits were awkward in their exercises
2.  ungainly or inelegant in movements or posture: despite a great deal of practice she remained an awkward dancer
3.  unwieldy; difficult to use: an awkward implement
4.  embarrassing: an awkward moment
5.  embarrassed: he felt awkward about leaving
6.  difficult to deal with; requiring tact: an awkward situation; an awkward customer
7.  deliberately uncooperative or unhelpful: he could help but he is being awkward
8.  dangerous or difficult: an awkward ascent of the ridge
9.  obsolete perverse
 
[C14 awk, from Old Norse öfugr turned the wrong way round + -ward]
 
'awkwardly
 
adv
 
'awkwardness
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

awkward
mid-14c., "in the wrong direction," from awk "back-handed" + adverbial suffix -weard (see -ward). Meaning "clumsy" first recorded 1520s.

awkwardness
1704, "lack of grace," from awkward + -ness. Meaning "physical clumsiness" is attested from c.1770; that of "social embarrassment" is from 1788.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
It signals they're okay with any awkwardness that might linger.
They heal us of awkwardness by their words and looks.
There seems to be much confusion and awkwardness about the delayed exercise.
They visit his former landlady together, and for the first time some of their
  awkwardness begins to melt.
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