Definition of clumsy in English:


Line breaks: clumsy
Pronunciation: /ˈklʌmzi

adjective (clumsier, clumsiest)

  • 1Awkward in movement or in handling things: the cold made his fingers clumsy
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    • He is an awkward, clumsy boy in the community.
    • As it rocks from side to side, a walking penguin may look clumsy, but its movements are actually quite efficient.
    • The girls were running and giggling at the same time, making them clumsy in their movements and me even angrier.
  • 1.1Done awkwardly or without skill: a very clumsy attempt to park
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    • This was a clumsy amateurish attempt by two students.
    • ‘Being a hippy’ was just a clumsy attempt to give expression to those moments of spirituality he had experienced since childhood.
    • This clumsy attempt at democracy has soured the population.
  • 1.2Difficult to handle or use; unwieldy: clumsy devices the legal procedure is far too clumsy
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    • They were difficult to conceal, clumsy, expensive to manufacture, and required bulky ammunition which created stowage and logistics problems.
    • It looked and felt so clumsy, so unwieldy, so…… artificial.
    • The reason seems to be that they are clumsy and difficult to manoeuvre.
    unwieldy, unmanageable, cumbersome, bulky, hulking, heavy, solid, awkward, unmanoeuvrable
  • 1.3Lacking social skills; tactless: his choice of words was clumsy
    More example sentences
    • Eventually, I made our excuses and took her home, worried that I had ruined yet another woman's life with my clumsy social skills.
    • I was far too clumsy in social situations to attempt a visit, not even to apologize for something that had been plaguing me with guilt all day.
    • But, at the heart of this argument, I have reached the conclusion that I'm a slightly clumsy, rather ineffectual speaker.
    gauche, awkward, graceless, unpolished, unsubtle, crude, uncouth, boorish, crass; tactless, insensitive, thoughtless, inconsiderate, undiplomatic, indelicate, impolitic, injudicious, ill-judged



More example sentences
  • It's the way it presents the arguments so clumsily and obviously.
  • He ran clumsily up the culvert, pebbles loose beneath his feet, toward the blind man.
  • This is partly because her central theme, emotional inarticulacy, is clumsily overstated.


More example sentences
  • I could sort of forgive the clumsiness of the script, but I fear there's a deeper problem with the concept of the show.
  • Hypothermia is lowering of body temperature and symptoms include clumsiness and disorientation.
  • The agility of monkeys sharply contrasts with the clumsiness of bears, producing a humorous effect.


late 16th century: from obsolete clumse 'make or be numb', probably of Scandinavian origin and related to Swedish klumsig.

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