|Origin:||awk 'turned the wrong way' (15-17 centuries) (from Old Norse öfugr) + -ward|
making you feel embarrassed so that you are not sure what to do or say [= difficult]:
I hoped he would stop asking awkward questions.
There was an awkward moment when she didn't know whether to shake his hand or kiss his cheek.
A laugh can help people over an awkward situation.
Philip's remarks put her in an awkward position (=made it difficult for her to know what to do).
not relaxed or comfortable:
She liked to dance but felt awkward if someone was watching her.
Geoff looked uneasy and awkward.
Make sure that the baby is not sleeping in an awkward position.
difficult to do, use, or deal with:
It'll be awkward getting cars in and out.
The new financial arrangements were awkward to manage.
A good carpenter can make a cupboard to fit the most awkward space.
She was afraid he was going to ask an awkward question.
I'm sorry to call at such an awkward time but I won't keep you a minute.
an awkward person is deliberately unhelpful [= difficult]
The staff wanted to go home and they were getting awkward about a meeting starting so late.
an awkward customer (=person who is difficult and unhelpful)
'I'm very sorry about your sister,' he said awkwardly.
Vera smiled awkwardly.
—awkwardness noun [uncountable]WORD FOCUS: difficult
He tried to smooth over the awkwardness of the situation.
difficult to do: hard, tough, challenging, daunting
difficult and needing a lot of physical effort: tough, strenuous, back-breaking, gruelling, arduous, punishing
difficult to deal with or talk about: tricky, awkward, delicate, sensitive, touchy
words for describing a difficult person: awkward, trying
words for describing difficult conditions: adverse, hostile
➔ See also difficultWORD FOCUS: embarrassed
similar words: uncomfortable, awkward, sheepish, red-faced
very embarrassed: mortified
➔ See also embarrassed