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[mal-uh-droit] /ˌmæl əˈdrɔɪt/
lacking in adroitness; unskillful; awkward; bungling; tactless:
to handle a diplomatic crisis in a very maladroit way.
Origin of maladroit
1665-75; < French, Middle French; see mal-, adroit
Related forms
maladroitly, adverb
maladroitness, noun
clumsy, inept; gauche. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for maladroit
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Might makes right, often enough in a maladroit fashion, but sometimes it comes as a real blessing.

  • He had been maladroit, he thought, had lost his presence of mind.

    Robert Elsmere Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • But his performances are so ridiculously "maladroit," that the spectators only laugh at him.

    The Sharper Detected and Exposed Jean-Eugne Robert-Houdin
  • Tipped over by no maladroit handling of corkscrew, but downright deliberate intention!

    Gwen Wynn Mayne Reid
  • maladroit, mal-a-droit′, adj. not dexterous: unskilful: clumsy.

  • There were moments during coffee which reminded him of the maladroit hospitalities of the Five Towns.

    The Roll-Call Arnold Bennett
  • Naudé does not neglect to censure Cardan for his maladroit attempts to read the future.

    Jerome Cardan William George Waters
  • He proceeded honestly to pay it, but with a maladroit manner, as one unaccustomed to the currency.

    The King of Schnorrers Israel Zangwill
  • The strife which had begun between the poet and the maladroit agents of the Great Frederick was becoming serious.

    A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot
British Dictionary definitions for maladroit


showing or characterized by clumsiness; not dexterous
tactless and insensitive in behaviour or speech
Derived Forms
maladroitly, adverb
maladroitness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from French, from mal badly + adroit
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 maladroit

1670s, from mal- + adroit. Related: Maladroitly; maladroitness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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