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[gohsh] /goʊʃ/
lacking social grace, sensitivity, or acuteness; awkward; crude; tactless:
Their exquisite manners always make me feel gauche.
Origin of gauche
1745-55; < French: awkward, left; Middle French, derivative of gauchir to turn, veer < Germanic
Related forms
gauchely, adverb
gaucheness, noun
Can be confused
gauche, gouache.
inept, clumsy, maladroit; coarse, gross, uncouth. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for gauche
  • Some will find it gauche; others will enjoy its boldness.
  • He laughs and talks while serving, and is as gauche as possible.
  • And when you receive a business card, it's gauche to write on the back of it.
  • Be gauche and put it in the cover letter.
  • Accordingly, from the French, one is considered “gauche” or “maladroit” when exhibiting clumsiness.
  • We chickened out at the front counter, terrified of appearing gauche.
  • There is something endearingly gauche about the new millionaires.
  • Certainly an awkward, socially gauche one.
  • In part this is just the desire of a slightly gauche place to appear hip.
  • Don't raise your voice; brash Westerners are apt to be perceived as intimidating and gauche.
British Dictionary definitions for gauche


lacking ease of manner; tactless
Derived Forms
gauchely, adverb
gaucheness, noun
Word Origin
C18: French: awkward, left, from Old French gauchir to swerve, ultimately of Germanic origin; related to Old High German wankōn to stagger
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 gauche

"awkward, tactless," 1751 (Chesterfield), from French gauche "left" (15c., replacing Old French senestre in that sense), originally "awkward, awry," from Middle French gauchir "turn aside, swerve," from Old French gaucher "trample, reel, walk clumsily," from Frankish *welkan "to full" (cloth), from Proto-Germanic *wankjan (cf. Old High German wankon, Old Norse vakka "to stagger, totter;" see wink (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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