from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Lacking dexterity or skill; clumsy.
  • adjective Lacking social grace or tact.
  • adjective Having unusually large hands.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Clumsy, heavy, or inept; not delicate, light or gentle.

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

  • adjective lacking physical movement skills, especially with the hands


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Our ham-handed approach to other countries is pretty scary. thetruth

    History will have to make a judgment on Iraq, Powell says

  • Just when you thought BP couldn’t top former CEO Tony Hayward’s ham-handed statements last summer, it appears the giant oil conglomerate still has the mojo to make Gulf residents’ blood boil.

    Rocky Kistner: BP to Feinberg: Stop Paying People So Much

  • You can guess what happens next, but it doesn't matter, for Kanin runs the changes on his familiar theme so adroitly that you won't even mind the ham-handed civics lesson tucked into the last five minutes of the play.

    The Blacker Shade of Blue

  • Quant analysts might unearth some false notes, but compared with usually ham-handed corporate thrillers, this is as welcome as "Margin Call" or a new Joseph Finder novel.

    The Short List

  • Then our ham-handed land of the giants reality takes over and the little magic letter is prepared for real-world mailing.

    Boing Boing

  • Politico approached him 10 days before the story was published and asked for a response and there was nothing until the ham-handed iterations of the narrative that unfolded over the course of one news cycle.

    James Moore: Whodunnit to Herman?

  • And of course, all this is complicated by ham-handed attempts to reach out to female gamers, to hold on to the valuable 19-35 male demographic, not to mention poor understanding of what accessibility means and why you really shouldn't be throwing a 16 button controller at people ... but a lot of it really does come down to: games are expensive to make because of the art.

    Great Big Bites

  • But I simply didn't buy the ham-handed way he descended into Taxi Driver territory, no matter how inexorably brutal his world may be.

    Michael Giltz: DVDs: The King And Still Champ: "Citizen Kane"

  • First, he made a ham-handed attempt to change the definition to an "aspirational goal of a time horizon," whatever that meant.

    Chris Weigant: Republicans Disrespect Iraqi Democracy

  • But his decision to go now, and there, seems either ham-handed or vaguely defiant.

    The President's Island Retreat


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