Adjective "Clumsy" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


Awkward in movement or in handling things.
  1. 'I was in a strange land, where small, clumsy, country boys were not appreciated.'
  2. 'He is an awkward, clumsy boy in the community.'
  3. 'When the shot broke, I tried to run the bolt quickly and prepare for a follow up, as we had practiced, but my hands were suddenly awkward and clumsy.'
  4. 'The child may look dazed, and his or her movements may be clumsy.'
  5. 'Its movements are clumsy and relatively uncoordinated.'
  6. 'He would smile mysteriously at her, or look at her with a new kind of interest that made her feel awkward and clumsy around him.'
  7. 'Fumbling, my fingers clumsy and slow, I fought with the buttons on his soaking-wet shirt.'
  8. 'But left-handers are renowned for being awkward and clumsy and in some societies they are still looked upon with suspicion.'
  9. 'Last year I was daft enough to get the guy to help me with the counter top and the clumsy fellow managed to gouge a great chunk out of the kitchen wall.'
  10. 'A few minutes later I heard the clumsy movements of my mother rushing out of the room.'
  11. 'As it rocks from side to side, a walking penguin may look clumsy, but its movements are actually quite efficient.'
  12. 'It is difficult to believe that such clumsy moments derive from even a very early work by the great composer.'
  13. 'This clumsy attempt at democracy has soured the population.'
  14. 'He also uses the clumsy narrative device of the flashback in attempt to generate a sense of depth in the relationship.'
  15. 'The extraordinarily clumsy and transparent attempt to bury the issue failed, however, resulting in a further inquiry and the present trials.'
  16. 'The clumsy frame-up attempt was as stupid as it was shortsighted.'
  17. 'The performances are flat and wooden; the writing is clumsy and unlikely to keep any child interested for more than a few minutes.'
  18. 'His downfall came only when he made a clumsy and inept attempt to forge her will, to claim her legacy for himself.'
  19. 'For instance, when we learn to drive a car, our initial attempts are clumsy and full of errors.'
  20. 'The characters appear out of nowhere and act as little more than clumsy devices to move the plot along and reveal the truth behind mysteries set up elsewhere.'
  21. 'It is an attempt, and a clumsy attempt, to codify the present criminal law.'
  22. 'But these clumsy attempts to prevent its publication only promoted the swift growth of interest in the book.'
  23. 'clumsy devices'
  24. 'With their clumsy wooden carts, they cleared the refuse from the streets and cleaned the open drains bordering its streets.'
  25. 'Also, larger oars were heavy and clumsy to maneuver and required multiple oarsmen.'
  26. 'These clumsy wood snowshoes were heavy and made walking almost impossible.'
  27. 'They were difficult to conceal, clumsy, expensive to manufacture, and required bulky ammunition which created stowage and logistics problems.'
  28. 'The outer wooden framework, which is clumsy and heavy and painted grey, protects and cages the garland.'
  29. 'It looked and felt so clumsy, so unwieldy, so…… artificial.'
  30. 'No one could maintain that furious, driving rhythm - not with something as massive and clumsy as a two-handed sword!'
  31. 'his choice of words was clumsy'
  32. 'His retaliations are clumsy and awkward in comparison.'
  33. 'I am pretty clumsy and awkward but I try real hard never to trespass in a way that would be offensive to a place.'
  34. 'In the end, the organization looks clumsy and amateurish.'
  35. 'There were awkward speeches saying kind and clumsy things, gauche jokes and real fondness.'
  36. 'But, at the heart of this argument, I have reached the conclusion that I'm a slightly clumsy, rather ineffectual speaker.'
  37. 'Alex, with his clumsy manners, his awkward yet almost sweet behavior… and his captivating personality.'
  38. 'I mean, it was clumsy the way they handled it.'


1. awkward in movement or action; without skill or grace: He is very clumsy and is always breaking things.

2. awkwardly done or made; unwieldy; ill-contrived: He made a clumsy, embarrassed apology.

More examples(as adjective)

"titles can be clumsy to ears."

"structures can be clumsy to humans."

"people can be clumsy with people."

"people can be clumsy to uses."

"people can be clumsy to things."

More examples++


Late 16th century: from obsolete clumse ‘make or be numb’, probably of Scandinavian origin and related to Swedish klumsig.