Definition of maladroit in English:



  • Inefficient or inept; clumsy.

    ‘both men are unhappy about the maladroit way the matter has been handled’
    • ‘Who loves quiet conversations about feelings or ideas, and can give a dynamite presentation to a big audience, but seems awkward in groups and maladroit at small talk?’
    • ‘This he contrasts to the maladroit policies pursued by the natives after they acquired independence - which included high tariffs, industrial planning, labor protection, and the like.’
    • ‘So, these vines are actually moving these people, explaining their maladroit walking patterns.’
    • ‘The results included muddled avant-garde theatrical staging techniques and insensitive and maladroit portraits of African Americans.’
    • ‘I will only make one observation - the Chinese government has been extraordinarily maladroit over the past six months.’
    • ‘Clinton's maladroit staffing decisions contributed to the political turmoil of his initial years in the White House.’
    • ‘Padlin stared helplessly at his drawing, at his maladroit strokes.’
    • ‘But what is impressive is the way that their dialogue, often callow and maladroit, is callow and maladroit in precisely the right way.’
    • ‘But her long harsh sentence is cockeyed, as is Peter Beattie's very disappointing and uncharacteristically maladroit response.’
    • ‘Allen, of course, hotly denies this, arguing that his lusty, maladroit, cowardly, witty and nebbish persona is a comic archetype.’
    • ‘This has been an extremely clumsy maladroit approach on the part of the US economic team.’
    • ‘If Lott's original words are not enough to disqualify him as Senate leader, then his maladroit grasp of public relations should be.’
    • ‘A single maladroit quip or an unscripted dramatic moment on the campaign trail could spell the difference between victory and defeat.’
    • ‘The Germans also launched a maladroit effort to entice Mexico into the war, exposed by the Zimmermann telegraph affair.’
    • ‘And so much unlike his younger brother, Eric was maladroit at handling simple home economics tasks.’
    • ‘A shame, then; in the book reviewed here… a picture gradually emerges of the artist as a cantankerous and socially maladroit buffoon.’
    • ‘Measured against other degenerate cultures, we are still, in some respects, at the stage of a touchingly maladroit infancy.’
    • ‘Perhaps I'm too cynical, but only commercial reasons spring to my mind when I try to justify this maladroit wraparound device.’
    • ‘In the 1930s and in the 1960s, all sorts of maladroit, stodgy unions did quite well.’
    • ‘In one measured, maladroit motion - only after he had lined up the shot with the ball resting in his right palm - O'Neal aimed and fired.’
    bungling, awkward, inept, clumsy, bumbling, incompetent, unskilful, heavy-handed, ungainly, inelegant, inexpert, graceless, ungraceful, gauche, unhandy, uncoordinated, gawky, cloddish, clodhopping, all fingers and thumbs, flat-footed, lumbering
    like a bull in a china shop, tactless, insensitive, thoughtless, inconsiderate, undiplomatic, impolitic, injudicious
    butterfingered, ham-fisted, ham-handed, cack-handed
    View synonyms


Late 17th century: French.