American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Unfit; vain.
- Awkward; clumsy; uncouth: as, an ungainly carriage.
- Synonyms Uncouth, Bungling, etc. See awkward and clumsy.
- In an awkward manner; clumsily; uncouthly.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Not gainly; not expert or dexterous; clumsy; awkward; uncouth.
- adj. obsolete Unsuitable; unprofitable.
- adv. In an ungainly manner.
- adj. difficult to handle or manage especially because of shape
- adj. lacking grace in movement or posture
- From un- + Old Norse gegn ("fit, honest") + -ly. (Wiktionary)
- un-1 + obsolete gainly, proper (from Middle English gainli, from gain, from Old Norse gegn, direct). (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“We must keep our girls from contact with all that is coarse and debasing; must teach them to behave properly at home and abroad; and not to sit and lounge about or stand in ungainly attitudes; and read books which serve only to inflame the passions, and not to improve either mind or manners.”
“Jacqueline, but we had always called her Jack, for brevity, and because, with her cropped head and rough ways, she resembled a boy more than a girl; her hair was growing now, and hung about her neck in short ungainly lengths, but I doubt whether in its present stage it was any improvement.”
“On an analysis based on, you know, around airports, where could a man with a pipe-like device, which is kind of ungainly and big and long and has a signature, where could that person just stand upright or even be in a kind of concealed position and let one of these missiles go?”
“Consumer Reports said the Tahoe's handling was "ungainly" and its stopping distances too long.”
“Simone: Dania "doesn't love" it; Nigel calls it "ungainly" and lacking sensuality; Tyra thinks she could be stronger”
“Cowell called her performance "ungainly" and "gimmicky" and he hated her outfit.”
“The thing that is ungainly, vulnerable, embarrassing.”
“This is fundamentally the story of Morry Abbot, the most awkward, ungainly and emotionally disadvantaged of them all.”
“It was 1917 when aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss built his Autoplane, an ugly, ungainly thing that really did fly.”
“At one point, four stylists were clustered around me, conferring like a bunch of surgeons over an ungainly and inoperable tumor.”
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