Meaning of UNGAINLY in English


un ‧ gain ‧ ly /ʌnˈɡeɪnli/ BrE AmE adjective

[ Date: 1600-1700 ; Origin: gainly 'proper, graceful, pleasing' (14-20 centuries) , from gain 'direct, kind, useful' (10-19 centuries) , from Old Norse gegn ]

moving in a way that does not look graceful:

a tall ungainly teenager

—ungainliness noun [uncountable]

• • •


▪ clumsy adjective moving or doing things in a careless way, especially so that you drop things, knock into things etc:

She was very clumsy and was always walking into doors.


With clumsy fingers he took out a pack of cigarettes and tried to light one.

▪ awkward adjective moving in a way that does not seem relaxed or comfortable:

Her husband always looked a bit awkward when he was dancing.


an awkward teenager

▪ ungainly adjective moving in a way that is not graceful – used especially about people or things that are big:

The ostrich is rather an ungainly bird.


She collapsed into the chair in an ungainly manner.

▪ uncoordinated adjective not able to control your movements very well, and therefore not very good at physical activities:

When she first starting playing tennis, her movements were slow and uncoordinated.

▪ accident-prone adjective often having accidents:

I was very accident-prone as a child and was always having to go to hospital.

▪ be all fingers and thumbs British English informal , be all thumbs American English informal to be unable to control your fingers very well, so that you cannot do something:

‘Do you want some help unwrapping that?’ ‘Yes please, I’m all fingers and thumbs today.’

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.