follow Dictionary.com

Dictionary.com's Word of the Year is...

clumsy

[kluhm-zee] /ˈklʌm zi/
adjective, clumsier, clumsiest.
1.
awkward in movement or action; without skill or grace:
He is very clumsy and is always breaking things.
2.
awkwardly done or made; unwieldy; ill-contrived:
He made a clumsy, embarrassed apology.
Origin
1590-1600
1590-1600; clums benumbed with cold (now obsolete) + -y1; akin to Middle English clumsen to be stiff with cold, dialectal Swedish klumsig benumbed, awkward, klums numbskull, Old Norse klumsa lockjaw. See clam2
Related forms
clumsily, adverb
clumsiness, noun
Synonyms
1. ungraceful, ungainly, lumbering, lubberly. 2. unhandy, unskillful, maladroit, inexpert, bungling, bumbling, heavy-handed, inept.
Antonyms
2. adroit, skillful.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for clumsily
  • There are plenty of sources including the clumsily deleted information.
  • Doctors try to manage this, sometimes clumsily, but their hands are tied.
  • But at times, and especially at first, the brain does this work clumsily.
  • We trudged clumsily in our hip boots to a shallow mud pit.
  • Four or five of his comrades run the litter to the helicopter and clumsily, frantically, shove him inside.
  • So he ends up lashing out, somewhat clumsily, at unnamed ideological extremists.
  • Most had their shoulders hunched clumsily, and their short forearms hung weakly at their sides.
  • He drew clumsily and fired absurdly, and in another moment he was struck in the mouth and the revolver wrested from his grip.
  • Rarely, if ever, have the saccharine and the scatological been so clumsily commingled.
  • The prisoner scrambled to his feet and stood clumsily to attention.
British Dictionary definitions for clumsily

clumsy

/ˈklʌmzɪ/
adjective -sier, -siest
1.
lacking in skill or physical coordination
2.
awkwardly constructed or contrived
Derived Forms
clumsily, adverb
clumsiness, noun
Word Origin
C16 (in obsolete sense: benumbed with cold; hence, awkward): perhaps from C13 dialect clumse to benumb, probably from Scandinavian; compare Swedish dialect klumsig numb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for clumsily

clumsy

adj.

1590s, "acting as if benumbed," alteration of Middle English clumsid "numb with cold" (14c.), past participle of clumsen "to benumb, stiffen or paralyze with cold or fear," from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse klumsa "make speechless, palsy; prevent from speaking," intensive of kluma "to make motionless." For insertion of -s-, cf. flimsy.

Not in general use until 18c., with senses "manifesting awkwardness; so made as to be unwieldy." Related: Clumsily; clumsiness. Cf. Swedish dialectal klummsen "benumbed with cold," Norwegian klumsad (past participle) "speechless, palsied by a spasm or by fear or witchery;" German verklammen "grow stiff or numb with cold." Also cf. clumse (n.) "a stupid fellow."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Slide the arrow to see easier and harder words for clumsy
Easy Moderate Difficult

Word Value for clumsily

15
19
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with clumsily

Nearby words for clumsily