• WordNet 3.6
    • adj clumsy not elegant or graceful in expression "an awkward prose style","a clumsy apology","his cumbersome writing style","if the rumor is true, can anything be more inept than to repeat it now?"
    • adj clumsy lacking grace in movement or posture "a gawky lad with long ungainly legs","clumsy fingers","what an ungainly creature a giraffe is","heaved his unwieldy figure out of his chair"
    • adj clumsy showing lack of skill or aptitude "a bungling workman","did a clumsy job","his fumbling attempt to put up a shelf"
    • adj clumsy difficult to handle or manage especially because of shape "an awkward bundle to carry","a load of bunglesome paraphernalia","clumsy wooden shoes","the cello, a rather ungainly instrument for a girl"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Clumsy Stiff or benumbed, as with cold.
    • Clumsy Without skill or grace; wanting dexterity, nimbleness, or readiness; stiff; awkward, as if benumbed; unwieldy; unhandy; hence; ill-made, misshapen, or inappropriate; as, a clumsy person; a clumsy workman; clumsy fingers; a clumsy gesture; a clumsy excuse. "But thou in clumsy verse, unlicked, unpointed,
      Hast shamefully defied the Lord's anointed."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • clumsy Stiffened with cold; benumbed.
    • clumsy Acting as if benumbed; awkward; ungainly; unhandy; uncouth; without expertness, dexterity, tact, or grace: as, a clumsy workman; a clumsy wooer.
    • clumsy Manifesting awkwardness; ill-contrived or ill-managed; awkwardly combined, arranged, or used: as, a clumsy movement; clumsy sentences.
    • clumsy So made as to be unwieldy in certain or in all uses; heavily built; large and heavy; not manageable, light, or graceful.
    • clumsy Awkward in appearance or use; unfamiliar; anomalous; outré.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Clumsy klum′zi shapeless: ill-made: unwieldy: awkward: ungainly
    • ***


  • Charles R. Darwin
    Charles R. Darwin
    “What a book a devil's chaplain might write on the clumsy, wasteful, blundering, low, and horribly cruel work of nature!”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. clumsed, benumbed, fr. clumsen, to be benumbed; cf. Icel. klumsa, lockjaw, dial. Sw. klummsen, benumbed with cold. Cf. 1st Clam, and 1st Clamp
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
M. E. clomsen, to be stiff or benumbed; most prob. Scand.; allied to Clamp.


In literature:

I am glad I am not a grand lady to wear clumsy shoes.
"A Little Girl in Old Detroit" by Amanda Minnie Douglas
Then the wolverine came upslope at a clumsy gallop to Shann.
"Storm Over Warlock" by Andre Norton
But it's a pity you couldn't have waited awhile longer, instead of beginning to angle with that very clumsy bait.
"The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 100, February, 1866" by Various
In appearance he was particularly ugly in face and clumsy in build.
"A Dog with a Bad Name" by Talbot Baines Reed
The funny thing was that the men's fingers were thicky and clumsy.
"Clayhanger" by Arnold Bennett
It's so heavy and clumsy, and the sun's going to be a scorcher.
"Blue Jackets" by George Manville Fenn
They had large heads, and heavy blunt muzzles, and thick clumsy bodies without tails.
"On the Banks of the Amazon" by W.H.G. Kingston
The band should be made of cotton or at least lined with it to avoid clumsiness and prevent shrinking.
"Textiles and Clothing" by Kate Heintz Watson
The ball came straight down towards a clumsy young man, who extended his hands, claw-like, to receive it.
"Red Rooney" by R.M. Ballantyne
The large and clumsy barb was deeply imbedded, so there was no help for it but to use the knife.
"Ungava" by R.M. Ballantyne
But, unlike them, he was clumsy, awkward, loose-jointed, and a bad shot.
"The Dog Crusoe and his Master" by R.M. Ballantyne
His clumsy fingers found difficulty with the tie.
"The Best Short Stories of 1920" by Various
The work is on good gold or silver of pure quality, but, with few exceptions, is generally clumsy in design and heavily executed.
"Across Coveted Lands" by Arnold Henry Savage Landor
His joy had awakened in him a measure of clumsy familiarity.
"The Goose Man" by Jacob Wassermann
In the soft twilight they trimmed the sail and swung at the clumsy oars, while a fire blazing on the beach was a beacon to guide their course.
"Blackbeard: Buccaneer" by Ralph D. Paine
The entertainment was pure magic, untouched by human clumsiness, rare and spellbound as a stilly afternoon in oak woods by a lake.
"The Job" by Sinclair Lewis
How paltry its pewter pots and clumsy flagons!
"Sea-Dogs All!" by Tom Bevan
The next day we hurried out to see if the bird had resented our clumsy human help.
"Little Brothers of the Air" by Olive Thorne Miller
Eudena saw the huge, flat feet slipping and sliding, and suddenly the bear gave a clumsy leap sideways, as if for the ledge.
"Tales of Space and Time" by Herbert George Wells
I can immediately find the clumsy, awkward ones and select the apt ones.
"The Art of Stage Dancing" by Ned Wayburn

In poetry:

Their clumsy force with force to foil
His strong, clean hands he would not soil.
He saw their childishness quite plain
Betweent the lightnings of his pain.
"Comrade Jesus" by Sarah Norcliffe Cleghorn
Dearest, forgive that with my clumsy touch
I broke and bruised your rose.
I hardly could suppose
It were a thing so fragile that my clutch
Could kill it, thus.
"Stupidity" by Amy Lowell
I'm not flat and sly
Like a spatula creeping up from below.
At most I am a heavy and clumsy pestle
Mashing good and bad together
For a little taste
And a little fragrance.
"What Kind Of A Person" by Yehuda Amichai
The things she knew, let her forget again-
The voices in the sky, the fear, the cold,
The gaping shepherds, and the queer old men
Piling their clumsy gifts of foreign gold.
"Prayer For a New Mother" by Dorothy Parker
Thou hast a right to rule thyself; to be
The thing thou wilt; to grin, to fawn, to creep:
To crown these clumsy liars; ay, and we
Who knew thee once, we have a right to weep.
"To A Certain Nation" by Gilbert Keith Chesterton
You glow in my heart
Like the flames of uncontrolled candles.
But when I go to warm my hands,
My clumsiness overturns the light,
and then I stumble
Against the tables and chairs.
"The Bungler" by Amy Lowell

In news:

A jump rope for clumsy folks, a pair of gloves for your feet and more.
If you are anything like me (no, smarty, I don't mean clumsy), maybe you grew up in a time and place that taught you to be self-reliant and never ask for anything that isn't offered.
Clumsy Eagle, Pesky Celebs Put Mr Beliveau To the Test.
The Clumsy Lovers, Opening Set.
However, in the apology, the clumsiness of the language emphasizes the equally important message that AVUS is a team of innocent tuning specialists, not English linguists who would knowingly commit such an egregious offense.
Since he wants me to worry about my manliness , and manly men do not elaborate, I will tell him without explanation that his review was full of clumsy errors.
(The most ridiculous commentary on the Obama-Paterson dance came from Karl "Permanent Republican Majority" Rove, who criticized the president for his clumsy meddling in state politics.
Jerry's Ink: Confessions of a Clumsy Oaf .
Visionary, academic, cracked, and clumsy.
(A clumsy bartender is called a shoemaker.
Forty years of investigation have yielded no simple answer to how a clumsy raid that Richard Nixon's spokesman termed a 'third-rate burglary' became a titanic constitutional struggle and led to his resignation.
Life of Pi's Clumsy 3D Storytelling.
Strange or clumsy in shape or appearance.
It's cute to see movie portrayals of clumsy but good-natured Americans not fitting into some über sophisticated situation.
The immutable verities of today seem dated and clumsy tomorrow.

In science:

It is essential that term clamping has to work in a most unobtrusive way, requiring as little thought from the end user as possible, or such a system would be perceived as clumsy and unusable when it comes to real-world applications.
A novel approach to symbolic algebra
A disadvantage to XML format is that it’s clumsy to read.
ARCHANGEL Galaxy Photometry System
We estimate that several weeks of valuable work time per child are lost in negotiating this clumsy process. A low-cost solution that every institution can implement on a short time scale is to maintain a registry of recommended child care providers and a program to help employees coordinate child care sharing.
Challenges facing young astrophysicists
These full Chernoff bounds are quite tight but can be clumsy to compute.
Randomization Resilient To Sensitive Reconstruction
On the other hand, the path-integral approach is not very transparent; formulas may be clumsy (cf. (7, 8)) and one has no clue what are the relevant physical degrees of freedom.
The phase transition in the multiflavour Schwinger model
The formula is a bit clumsy, since we have normalized rotation numbers to live in R/Z instead of the more natural R/2πZ.
Dynamical forcing of circular groups
The point of this somewhat clumsy looking definition is that since W1 is the line integral of ~A it follows that ~∇W1 = ~A.
Gauge invariance and the detection of gravitational radiation
Beforehand, to avoid repetition and clumsy notation, let us emphasize that we shall only deal with jump Markov processes in continuous time.
Stochastic Deformations of Sample Paths of Random Walks and Exclusion Models
What is “natural”, however, is a very personal notion and it is not surprising that what some consider natural is considered unnatural or clumsy or difficult (or the three qualifications together) by others.
Perturbation Theory
In 2.4 we have defined a syntax that is a bit clumsy for big integers, perhaps we could note these like regular integers for small enough values.
Symbolic Script Programming for Java
E (−) (~k , ~r) because they are very clumsy.
Spontaneous and Induced Radiation by Relativistic Particles in Natural and Photonic Crystals. Crystal X-ray Lasers and Volume Free Electron Lasers (VFEL)
We will write |G | in place of the clumsy expression |G ×C∗ C|, and similarly we will denote the dual line bundle by G ∗ .
Invariant measures for unitary forms of Kac-Moody groups, Parts I-III
This part, thought no doubt clumsy grammatically, will contain an infinity of sentences which exhaust the expressive part of the whole language.
Does Meaning Evolve?
To avoid clumsy notation we present our method for the case of only one gap of level 1.
Construction of a natural partition of incomplete horseshoes
This formula is still a little clumsy but a great deal can be understood by doing the physically reasonable approximation mA ≈ mB = m and ρA ≈ ρB .
Analogue spacetime based on 2-component Bose-Einstein condensates