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

  • adj. Difficult to handle or manage; unwieldy.
  • adj. Lacking manual skill or dexterity.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Not handy, unapt, clumsy, not dexterous.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Clumsy; awkward.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Not handy, in any sense; awkward; inconvenient.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • It seems that everyone wants to recycle, but some consider the process either too futuristic or too unhandy.

    AfterGlow Chair – Luminous Chair Made from Recycled Milk Jugs

  • See he's extremely unhandy, and these were the first blinds he's ever hung and he did it brilliantly!


  • It's unhandy at 300 yards, but then there's not a lot of shooting at 300 yards over there.

    The .375 H&H: Fraud or Scam?

  • Next thing you know, my bathtub drain clogged and, being an unhandy single head of household with a knack for networking with all manner of service pros, I picked up the phone to call my plumber, who'd previously told me never to use Draino on antique pipes in an old house.

    Janet Carlson: Popular Mechanics: A Modern Woman's Heartthrob

  • It is a damned unhandy thing to hunt with in a lot of other situations, too.

    Why Shorter is Better

  • The Hawken brothers used the Kentucky as a model for their guns, but the barrels were much shorter (26 to 38 inches), because their users had discovered that a long-barreled rifle, regardless of its advantages, was a damned unhandy thing to hunt with from horseback.

    Why Shorter is Better

  • Yea, yea, said my friend, I know what thou wouldest: I have been no unhandy devil to thee this long while, and thou wouldst fain keep me still; but now I will be devil no longer, on this earth at least, but will die and take my luck of it.

    The Water of the Wondrous Isles

  • Last weekend I asked my very handy dad to come over and replace a broken faucet in the kitchen since J and I are so very unhandy.

    Tuna Toast

  • Civ. professors from Trenton State with time on their hands have constructed a replica Pilgrim town with three windowless, dirt-floor pilgrim houses, trucked-in period barnyard animals, and lots of authentic but unhandy Pilgrim implements, built a hand-adzed paled fence, laid in a subsistence garden and produced old-timey clothes and authentically inadequate footwear for the Pilgrims themselves.

    The Lay of the Land (II)

  • But the mechanism of the instrument required that some bolt should be loosed before the hammer would fall upon the nipple, and the unhandy wretch for an instant fumbled over the work so that

    Phineas Redux


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  • My father was unable to teach me how to drive, nor did his bravery in the face of pain produce any satisfying imitation. I was never able to fill my face with his kind of hateful countenance - so compelling - nor could I match his vituperative skills, the stream of complaint of which he was capable, possible because much of it was directed at me. I was sportless, unhandy, an indoorsman, mental. But I did learn from my father how to be a bigot.

    - William Gass, The Tunnel

    June 5, 2009