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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.
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Examples from the web for clumsy
  • Some look elegant, while others look awkward and clumsy.
  • Iguanas' stout build gives them a clumsy look, but they are fast and agile on land.
  • The integrated spoiler looks a bit awkward, if not downright clumsy.
  • The actors are awkward, the dialogue is clumsy and the resolution preposterous.
  • His humor is torture, and his style is as fussy and clumsy as an awkward hostess.
  • Although southern flying squirrels are agile and sure-footed in flight, they are relatively clumsy on the ground.
  • Unless you are an undisputed star in organizing efficient group work, it can be a clumsy way of showing off your pedagogic skills.
  • The unions are furious at what they regard as a clumsy attempt to please the financial markets.
  • On land, canvasback movements are clumsy and the ducks seldom stray too far from the water's edge.
  • Giraffes can float, but they would be clumsy and unstable in the water.
British Dictionary definitions for clumsy

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
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Word Origin and History for 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
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13
16
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