Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “awkward”


adjective (EMBARRASSING)    /ˈɔː.kwəd/ US  /ˈɑː.kwɚd/
B2 causing problems , worry , or embarrassment : an awkward position / situation There followed an awkward silence while we all tried to think of something to say. They'd chosen an awkward time to call as I'd just got into the bath . The police asked some awkward questions about where the money had come from.InconvenienceEmbarrassing C2 embarrassed or nervous : I always feel awkward when I'm with Chris - he's so difficult to talk to. He seemed a little awkward when I first met him.Anxious and worriedAshamed and embarrassed awkwardness     /-nəs/ noun [U] In spite of the divorce , there was no awkwardness between them - in fact they seemed very much at ease .Inability and awkwardness
(Definition of awkward adjective (EMBARRASSING) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of awkward

Definitions of “awkward” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

best man

a male friend or relation of the bridegroom who stands with him and helps him during a marriage ceremony

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More