from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Lacking physical coordination, skill, or grace; awkward.
  • adj. Awkwardly constructed; unwieldy: clumsy wooden shoes; a clumsy sentence.
  • adj. Gauche; inept: a clumsy excuse.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. awkward, lacking coordination, not graceful, not dextrous
  • adj. Not elegant or well-planned, lacking tact or subtlety
  • adj. awkward or inefficient in use or construction, difficult to handle or manage especially because of shape
  • n. A clumsy person.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Stiff or benumbed, as with cold.
  • adj. Without skill or grace; wanting dexterity, nimbleness, or readiness; stiff; awkward, as if benumbed; unwieldy; unhandy; hence; ill-made, misshapen, or inappropriate.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Stiffened with cold; benumbed.
  • Acting as if benumbed; awkward; ungainly; unhandy; uncouth; without expertness, dexterity, tact, or grace: as, a clumsy workman; a clumsy wooer.
  • Manifesting awkwardness; ill-contrived or ill-managed; awkwardly combined, arranged, or used: as, a clumsy movement; clumsy sentences.
  • So made as to be unwieldy in certain or in all uses; heavily built; large and heavy; not manageable, light, or graceful.
  • Awkward in appearance or use; unfamiliar; anomalous; outré.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. difficult to handle or manage especially because of shape
  • adj. showing lack of skill or aptitude
  • adj. lacking grace in movement or posture
  • adj. not elegant or graceful in expression


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

From obsolete clumse, to be numb with cold, from Middle English clomsen, of Scandinavian origin.


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