Definition of cack-handed in English:



  • 1Inept; clumsy.

    ‘a great song ruined by cack-handed production’
    • ‘Some paintings seem unresolved, even cack-handed.’
    • ‘In a kind of cack-handed way, I believe that the public takes a lead from institutions.’
    • ‘He said: ‘I can only describe it as an amateurish, cack-handed attempt at health promotion by some staggeringly inept students.’’
    • ‘The subtlety of the original, and the intensity rendered as much by its bleak, thoughtful ending as the stark black and white visuals, are entirely absent from this cack-handed renovation.’
    • ‘Did they deliberately conceal what was going on in a cack-handed attempt to allay public panic?’
    • ‘Clearly his is a cack-handed attempt to cash in on the growing public desire to take wild places into the ownership and control of the communities that live around them.’
    • ‘But in pragmatic terms, it was the most cack-handed loss of a golden opportunity.’
    • ‘It would not be the first example of an unusually cack-handed attempt to get his message across last week.’
    • ‘I know the police are overstretched but I don't think they leave the investigation of attempted murders to cack-handed private investigators.’
    • ‘The lies listed above may seem obvious or cack-handed, but remember that they don't have to stick.’
    • ‘In the same way that referees who call too much attention to themselves on the pitch demean the spectacle by disrupting everyone's concentration, cack-handed sportscasters are also an obstacle to our enjoyment of live sport.’
    • ‘But why should an English-based paper want to stir things in such a cack-handed fashion?’
    • ‘While this is, at first glance, a compliment, it turns out to be a rather cack-handed one.’
    • ‘It's just an excuse, really, to dissolve traditional barriers of class and upbringing and simply marvel at how cack-handed people are when they try and do things they know nothing about.’
    • ‘From what I'm led to believe it's all been done in a bit of a cack-handed way and in essence it seems he does not care.’
    • ‘It is difficult to conceive a more cack-handed, clumsy way of running a regional fund programme, even assuming there was a case on enhanced economic performance grounds for doing so.’
    • ‘But have we really got to the stage where a single joke, however cack-handed, brings a whole profession into disrepute?’
    • ‘But I do know good music from bad music, and I can tell the difference between talented musicians and tone-deaf cack-handed wannabes with no sense of rhythm.’
    • ‘So instead I ask the straight girls amongst you to help out the naïve and cack-handed man in your life.’
    • ‘Yesterday, though, there were no such difficulties as the belly putter he adopted just a few weeks back, and the cack-handed grip with which he has been experimenting these past few days, combined to take him out in 32 and back in 30.’
    clumsy, ungainly, uncoordinated, maladroit, graceless, ungraceful, inept, inelegant, unskilful, unhandy, gauche, gawky, gangling, blundering, lumbering, cloddish
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  • 2derogatory Left-handed.


Mid 19th century: from cack, in the sense ‘excrement’, + hand + -ed.