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[ham-han-did] /ˈhæmˈhæn dɪd/
clumsy, inept, or heavy-handed:
a ham-handed approach to dealing with people that hurts a lot of feelings.
Also, especially British, ham-fisted
[ham-fis-tid] /ˈhæmˈfɪs tɪd/ (Show IPA)
Origin of ham-handed
Related forms
hamhandedness; especially British, hamfistedness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ham-handed
  • But it contains a balance of risks and rewards that could easily be upset if carried out in a ham-handed manner.
  • It was largely a result of the ham-handed way of trying to occupy territories they feel.
  • To me, this was an obvious and ham-handed attempt to make this event far more dramatic than it really was.
  • For its first year in operation, the new arm will be somewhat ham-handed.
  • Nobody is certain if the ham-handed investigation was the product of rash incompetence or a deliberate attempt to hide the truth.
  • The ham-handed federal case has probably increased the likelihood that he will take the stand.
  • Officials' nervousness was evident from a ham-handed attempt to keep the incident out of the news.
  • He's a bit bumbling and bit naive and a bit ham-handed.
  • Well, maybe, but they must have been thinking of someone decidedly ham-handed.
British Dictionary definitions for ham-handed


(informal) lacking dexterity or elegance; clumsy
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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Slang definitions & phrases for ham-handed



Crude and clumsy; lacking in finesse: his hamfisted approach to a delicate matter ( first form 1918+, second 1928+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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