Definition of clumsiness in US English:



  • 1The quality of being awkward or careless in one's movements.

    ‘my bumbling clumsiness’
    ‘in an impressive display of clumsiness, I managed to spill peppermint tea on my desk’
    • ‘They aren't averse to laughing at our clumsiness, stumbling over vines and slipping in the mud, but they unfailingly watch out for us.’
    • ‘This results in numbness, tingling, pain, and burning sensations in the hand, often accompanied by clumsiness.’
    • ‘He was constantly managing to get hurt, out of clumsiness, or because of some fight he got into.’
    • ‘I stumbled on uneven terrain and slid on icy patches, but he never blinked a big brown eye at my clumsiness.’
    • ‘Thanks to my clumsiness, I stepped on my shoelaces and fell forward.’
    • ‘Someone's physical clumsiness can deflect attention from linguistic adroitness.’
    • ‘We laughed at my clumsiness, and he handed me some napkins.’
    • ‘Judy was afraid she would fall on her face in her usual clumsiness.’
    • ‘The Christmas tree fell over, and I had never seen Mom happier as she and Dad guffawed at their clumsiness.’
    • ‘She growled softly at the clumsiness afforded by the protective gloves.’
    1. 1.1 The quality of being done in a way that lacks skill or finesse.
      ‘the telltale clumsiness of the amateur’
      ‘the sheer clumsiness of the ploy made it sure to be uncovered’
      • ‘Not all the clumsiness is due to technical limitations.’
      • ‘She is the most uncomfortable participant, practically critiquing the clumsiness of the script every time she speaks.’
      • ‘To compensate for my culinary clumsiness, I order takeout perhaps twice a week.’
      • ‘Journalists write with undisguised glee about day-to-day clumsiness within the company.’
      • ‘Offsetting this is a certain clumsiness pervading much of the performance.’
      • ‘In contrast to the speaker's clumsiness, the poem demonstrates its command of the language.’
      • ‘We spent as much time protecting equipment from the elements and military clumsiness as we did gathering information.’
      • ‘The bank's clumsiness of late has done plenty of harm.’
      • ‘The persistent clumsiness of MP3 downloading isn't helping the fledgling format.’
      • ‘Let a court decide whether it was their stupidity or clumsiness of a system that denied them their vote.’
    2. 1.2 The quality of being tactless and lacking social skills.
      ‘the clumsiness of his flirtation’
      • ‘She stood fidgeting from foot to foot as the silver-haired little woman grumbled about the clumsiness of the girl.’
      • ‘Knowing that people were laughing at my tallness, my clumsiness in formal settings, I learned to laugh at myself.’
      • ‘That question undid the poor, shy scholar and he fled to the seashore to berate himself for his clumsiness.’
      • ‘In the first place, I want to apologize for my clumsiness to the people who I offended.’
      • ‘He is a marvel in his performance, exploring beautifully the quiet intelligence and social clumsiness of the man he portrays.’
      • ‘These gaffes can be attributed to his characteristic clumsiness.’
      • ‘Toni's social clumsiness leaves her without the fiancé she wants.’
      • ‘She did not like his lusty ways and youthful clumsiness.’
      • ‘His clumsiness around Celia contrasts well with the smooth confidence he displays at the casino.’
      • ‘An excuse of social clumsiness was the only thing I could come up with.’