Definition of gawky in English:



  • Nervously awkward and ungainly.

    ‘a gawky teenager’
    • ‘Through binoculars they're visible at all points of the compass; gawky, fragile, birdlike skeletons of metal hauling skywards monstrous slabs of concrete and steel.’
    • ‘Those who didn't know him mistook him for a gawky teenager, though in point of fact he was twenty-nine.’
    • ‘So I went out for lunch today with a group of friends and their friends and was disturbed to find myself feeling defensive and edgy which dragged me back about ten years to gawky teenage years of perpetual embarrassment.’
    • ‘At that time I was a gawky 18-year-old, from a small town - unused to and unaware of the big sophisticated city.’
    • ‘I was a horribly gawky and nervous teenager and speech did not come smoothly out of my mouth.’
    • ‘The problem lies with the girls he chooses, as he shows a distinct preference for beautiful, if slightly gawky, younger women who aren't terribly self-confident.’
    • ‘Teenagers are known for their gawky prejudices, which tend to change once they get into the real world.’
    • ‘I just wanted to be like everyone else: one of the short girls who was good at doing cartwheels, graceful and cute as a kitten as opposed to a huge gawky awkward giraffe such as myself.’
    • ‘Filled with uncommon self-belief and undaunted by his tall and gawky appearance, he sought out the Royal Theatre and tried to get a break as an actor, a dancer or a playwright.’
    • ‘And as usual, I turned into a goofy, gawky, tongue-tied idiot.’
    • ‘I might be the gawky gap-toothed kid who's not cool like everyone else at school, but as long as I like myself I'll be fine.’
    • ‘As a gawky, squawky teenager with no friends, desperate to distance herself from her parents, she took a part-time job in a library and devoured books, and not just the dirty ones either.’
    • ‘She constantly insisted that her height and slender limbs made her gawky and awkward, and for lack of a mirror had never seen the large blue eyes that were so captivating.’
    • ‘With all the excitable glee of a slightly gawky teenager, she waves the bouquet above her head, showing it off to the rest of us like a trophy, the years visibly slipping away.’
    • ‘Kids are gawky and awkward enough in junior high without forcing them to wear skinny ties and ill-fitting jackets while roaming like bison through a cramped gymnasium.’
    • ‘Chris was nearly eighteen and though he was tall, filled out with spiky black hair and handsome features, he still felt awkward, gawky, and ugly.’
    • ‘He's fair-skinned and gawky while I'm bronzed and supremely athletic.’
    • ‘He's intelligent, but gawky and socially inept, unable to communicate with anyone other than his family.’
    • ‘They're essentially gawky adolescents engaged in self-discovery.’
    • ‘A gawky chap with a ponytail, rarely ever seen in a suit, he wanted to be different from those tough guys at the big anonymous corporate conglomerations.’
    awkward, ungainly, inelegant, graceless, ungraceful, gauche, maladroit, inept, bumbling, blundering, lumbering
    socially awkward, socially unsure, unpolished, unsophisticated, uncultured, uncultivated, unworldly
    nervous, shy, bashful
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