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Clumsy   /klˈəmzi/   Listen
Clumsy

adjective
(compar. clumsier; superl. clumsiest)
1.
Lacking grace in movement or posture.  Synonyms: clunky, gawky, ungainly, unwieldy.  "Clumsy fingers" , "What an ungainly creature a giraffe is" , "Heaved his unwieldy figure out of his chair"
2.
Not elegant or graceful in expression.  Synonyms: awkward, cumbersome, ill-chosen, inapt, inept.  "A clumsy apology" , "His cumbersome writing style" , "If the rumor is true, can anything be more inept than to repeat it now?"
3.
Difficult to handle or manage especially because of shape.  Synonyms: awkward, bunglesome, ungainly.  "A load of bunglesome paraphernalia" , "Clumsy wooden shoes" , "The cello, a rather ungainly instrument for a girl"
4.
Showing lack of skill or aptitude.  Synonyms: bungling, fumbling, incompetent.  "Did a clumsy job" , "His fumbling attempt to put up a shelf"



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"Clumsy" Quotes from Famous Books



... went on, an odd tremor in his voice. "It is wonderful. It is—why, it is beautiful, Anne. I could not have dreamed that such a change,—What has become of everything? What have you done with all the big, clumsy, musty things that—" ...
— From the Housetops • George Barr McCutcheon

... never occurred to the widow it could be at her own airs and affectations, which were a very clumsy imitation of Elsie's childish grace; she was too thoroughly satisfied with her own powers of fascination to suppose it possible, even for an instant, that she could ...
— A Noble Woman • Ann S. Stephens

... de Tonnai-Charente. Such elegiac effusions seemed to me unspeakably ridiculous; they should have explained matters earlier, while the lists were still open. For persons of this sort I conceived aversion, who were actually so clumsy as to dare to tell me that they had forgotten to ask ...
— The Memoirs of Madame de Montespan, Complete • Madame La Marquise De Montespan

... friendly. He had played among the rocks and pebbles and sand where it was made. His courage came back, and he rose up on his legs, and made his way toward it. Something inside him told him to go quietly, but his feet were big and clumsy, and half a dozen times in the next two minutes he stumbled on his nose. At last he came to the stream, scarcely wider than a man might have reached across, rippling and plashing its way through the naked roots of trees. And ahead of him Peter saw light. He quickened ...
— The Country Beyond - A Romance of the Wilderness • James Oliver Curwood

... (treeing it, as they term it in America), or any other defence which may offer. Now, it is evident that, skilled as all the Americans are in fire-arms, and generally using rifles, a disciplined English soldier, with his clumsy musket, fights at a disadvantage; and, therefore, with due submission to his Grace, the Duke of Wellington was very wrong when he stated, the other day in the House of Lords, that the militia of Canada should be disbanded, and their place supplied by regular troops from England. ...
— Diary in America, Series One • Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)

... German School, amid the worst examples, and it was too late to undo what had gone before. Here, then, lies, I consider, the key to the seeming anomaly that so great a maker as Stainer should have adopted and clung to so clumsy a model. That he became acquainted with much of the best work of the Italians is evidenced by his improved style. The varnish he used furnishes even stronger evidence of his having possessed a knowledge of the subject equal ...
— The Violin - Its Famous Makers and Their Imitators • George Hart

... unfolding life?" can not be evaded. The stonecutter takes the marble and hews out the rough block; the sculptor finds its hidden soul. The artisan takes the canvas and the common sign appears; the artist makes it immortal. But God gives life to parents and teachers to fashion. Will hands clumsy and unskilled, miss the perfect beauty, or the touch of master workmanship bring forth a likeness ...
— The Unfolding Life • Antoinette Abernethy Lamoreaux

... struck half-past five, with a whirring, rickety voice, for all the world like a hoarse grasshopper. Ellen at first wondered where it came from, and was looking at the clumsy machine, that reached nearly from the floor of the kitchen to the ceiling, when a door at the other end of the room opened, and "Good day, Mrs. Forbes," in a rough but not unpleasant voice, brought her head quickly round in that direction. There stood a large, strong-built man, with an ...
— The Wide, Wide World • Elizabeth Wetherell

... far the more powerful, Keller the more agile and supple. He knew every trick of the wrestling game, whereas the other was clumsy and muscle-bound. By main strength the older man got to his feet again. Over went the table as they surged ...
— Mavericks • William MacLeod Raine

... inclined to think that he was related to Old King Bear. Certainly he looked more like King Bear than he did like little Mr. Weasel. But for his bushy tail he would have looked still more like a member of the Bear family. He was clumsy-looking. He was rather slow moving, but he was strong, very strong for his size. And he had a mean disposition. Yes, Sir, Mr. Wolverine had a mean disposition. He had such a mean disposition that he would snarl at his own reflection in a pool ...
— Mother West Wind "Where" Stories • Thornton W. Burgess

... away the tears that my utmost resolution had not been able to keep back, and I made a clumsy laugh of it, and we sat down ...
— David Copperfield • Charles Dickens

... and of Froebel many resemblances may be traced. Both were sons of clergymen. Both were half-orphans from their earliest recollections. Both were unhappy in childhood, were misunderstood, companionless, awkward, clumsy, ridiculed. Both were as boys thrown into the almost exclusive society of women, and both retained to the last strongly feminine characteristics. Both were throughout life lacking in executive ability; both ...
— Autobiography of Friedrich Froebel • Friedrich Froebel

... and clumsy for her to handle. The captain had to raise and tip it so that she might drink, and as she drank, her eyes went ...
— Harrigan • Max Brand

... by the almost tropical sun of the valleys; shepherds in great sheepskins, be it ever so hot; and haughty Turks, hodjas, and veiled women, all in a crowded confusion, haggling and bartering. Quaint wooden carts drawn by patient oxen, their huge clumsy wheels creaking horribly; gypsies with thunderous voices acting as town criers; madmen shrieking horribly; blind troubadours droning out songs of heroes on their guslars. If the tourist has witnessed and understood all this, then he has seen something ...
— The Land of the Black Mountain - The Adventures of Two Englishmen in Montenegro • Reginald Wyon

... several families) ... a certain clan (gens) always reigned so that the women chose their husbands from other clans. The female part generally ruled the house; the provisions were held in common; but woe to the luckless husband or lover who was too indolent or too clumsy to contribute his share to the common stock. No matter how many children or how much private property he had in the house, he was liable at any moment to receive a hint to gather up his belongings and get out. And he could ...
— Women As Sex Vendors - or, Why Women Are Conservative (Being a View of the Economic - Status of Woman) • R. B. Tobias

... For every German spy or would-be spy in America, there was an agent of the Secret Service, equally resourceful, and more likely to succeed, because, no matter how clumsy his adversary seemed, he never made the mistake of underrating him. "Stupid Yankees," von Papen had called us, while he went about his plotting with child-like faith in his skill at hiding. "Stupid Germans," the ...
— Winning a Cause - World War Stories • John Gilbert Thompson and Inez Bigwood

... William; then she changed her mind about jack-in-the-pulpit and decided on wintergreen berries. This is just a sample of one teeny bit of what she demanded. And Andy was very awkward; so naturally he began complaining of his shuttles being too clumsy for such fine work and the cobwebby filling getting tangled up in his thumbs and after a bit of chewing his nails in despair he swore the thing never could be done ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1915 - And the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... put even more obstacles in the path of Socialism than the rich: "Much more likely to obstruct the way to Socialism," says Mr. Wells, "is the ignorance, the want of courage, the stupid want of imagination in the very poor, too shy and timid and clumsy to face any change they can evade! But even with them popular education is doing its work; and I do not fear but that in the next generation we will find Socialists even ...
— Socialism As It Is - A Survey of The World-Wide Revolutionary Movement • William English Walling

... do what you please. But one thing I want you to understand: if you are not going to act in the matter, I shall do so. I willingly confess that I am a selfish woman; but I am very fond of Lillie, and if you abandon her in this cruel and clumsy way, I shall have her to live with me here, and I shall do my best to console her for the loss of an ungrateful husband and a pack of ...
— The Dangerous Age • Karin Michaelis

... us that this state of things had to be entirely reversed. It is true that the peculiar talent of Sully-Prudhomme, being almost exclusively lyrical, scarcely survived his youth, and that he cumbered his moon of sands with two huge and clumsy wrecks, La Justice (1878) and Le Bonheur (1898), round which the feet of the fairies could hardly be expected to trip. One must be an academician and hopelessly famous before one dares to inflict two elephantine didactic epics ...
— Some Diversions of a Man of Letters • Edmund William Gosse

... suppressed laughter and the gurgling of the flowing enlivener. Jack blissfully fell into dreams, wherein home things and warlike doings mingled in grotesque medley. Relapses into consciousness followed at he knew not what intervals thereafter. He was conscious of cruel torment and a clumsy transfer into another vehicle, confused sounds of groans, curses, waving lights, and the hissing of escaping steam almost in his very ears. Then the anguish of thundering wheels, until his cracked brain reeled and he was mercifully unconscious. How long? His eyes opened ...
— The Iron Game - A Tale of the War • Henry Francis Keenan

... life but sleep and eat. As was his custom, he was at the feet of his mistress, a position which he seemed to prefer above all others. Then the blankets, deer and bison skins, and rude articles hanging about the room, the two columns in the center supporting the clumsy roof, the craggy logs and sticks at the side, the hanging skin which served as a door and was barely visible, the tumble down appearance of everything, and withal the solemn stillness which brooded within ...
— Camp-fire and Wigwam • Edward Sylvester Ellis

... difficult to dance the Kola. You join hands till a ring is formed, and then shuffle round and round. If you have aspirations to style you fling your legs about as much as space will allow, and we noticed how much better the men danced than the girls, who were almost all very clumsy. ...
— The Luck of Thirteen - Wanderings and Flight through Montenegro and Serbia • Jan Gordon

... years afterwards, the town of Sulaco—the luxuriant beauty of the orange gardens bears witness to its antiquity—had never been commercially anything more important than a coasting port with a fairly large local trade in ox-hides and indigo. The clumsy deep-sea galleons of the conquerors that, needing a brisk gale to move at all, would lie becalmed, where your modern ship built on clipper lines forges ahead by the mere flapping of her sails, had been barred out of Sulaco ...
— Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard • Joseph Conrad

... His clumsy hand closed upon the coin, and I have no doubt he was pleased by the donation; but he never took his eyes from Milly Darrell's face. That bright lovely face seemed to exercise a kind of ...
— Milly Darrell and Other Tales • M. E. Braddon

... arm," I put up first one and then the other of my own, and having got a satisfactory impetus during the rest of my sentence, I crossed the parlour as a catherine-wheel under my mother's nose. It was a new accomplishment, of which I was very proud, and poor Jem somewhat envious. He was clumsy and ...
— We and the World, Part I - A Book for Boys • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... da street, Da noise ees scare heem, too; He ees so clumsy een da feet He don't know w'at to do, Dere ees so many theeng he meet Dat ...
— The Little Book of Modern Verse • Jessie B. Rittenhouse

... down, in a state of intense excitement, with that queer step of his, which swayed him from right to left on each of his legs, like a wild beast, a heavy, clumsy bear. And, with a hoarse voice and distorted features, ...
— The Crystal Stopper • Maurice LeBlanc

... breast,—her sloping back and wings making a rain-proof roof over her jewels. Then the callow younglings rise a little higher into the wider circle. Next the fledglings brim the cup; at last it runs over; four large clumsy robins flutter to the ground, with much noise, much anxious calling from papa and mamma,—much good advice, no doubt. They are fairly turned out to shift for themselves; with the same wise, unfathomable eyes which have mirrored the round ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 32, June, 1860 • Various

... the first time I have been in this place," said the man, as they bumped over the crowded floor. He was big and clumsy, of course. To-night it seemed to Sally that the whole world was big and clumsy. "It's a swell place. I come from up-state myself. We got nothing like this where I come from." He cleared a space before him, using Sally as ...
— The Adventures of Sally • P. G. Wodehouse

... a large village, containing about seven hundred inhabitants, and surrounded by a mud wall. A plaza, or market- place, stood in the midst, one side of which is occupied by what is called a palace, a clumsy quadrangular building of two stories, belonging to some noble family, the lords of the neighbouring soil. It was deserted, however, being only occupied by a kind of steward, who stored up in its chambers the grain which he received as rent from the tenants ...
— The Bible in Spain • George Borrow

... another clumsy attempt. The cab was swift and had almost covered the long distance between the Western Addition and Russian Hill. "Other things have worried me. You are so generous. Society here as elsewhere has its parasites, its dead beats, trying to limp along by borrowing, ...
— The Avalanche • Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton

... Tight bands and long, heavy skirts should never be used, the dress and petticoat being just long enough to keep the feet covered and warm. If from the first a baby is "held out" always after being nursed, it learns to urinate at that time, and the clumsy diapers can be dispensed with in a few months. No ordinary pins should be used, and as few safety pins as possible. Tapes properly ...
— Papers on Health • John Kirk

... in its tone, legible in its chirography, and usually covered much of the surface of the slate, punctuation being attended to, the i's dotted, and the t's crossed. In the second, when the communication was in answer to a question addressed to a Spirit the writing was clumsy, rude, scarcely legible, abrupt in terms, and sometimes very vague in substance. In short, one bore the marks of deliberation and the other of haste. This difference we found to be due to the different ...
— Preliminary Report of the Commission Appointed by the University • The Seybert Commission

... clumsy! I don't believe she'll ever manage to keep afloat properly. She always flounders unless she has one foot at the bottom. Pauline Reynolds wouldn't venture into the water at all at first; Miss Young had to push her in. I shall never forget how she shrieked; and she was so frightened, she actually ...
— The New Girl at St. Chad's - A Story of School Life • Angela Brazil

... pocket, I fear," he added. "But Annie, bless her! she doesn't know what suffering means, any more than if she were a bird or a squirrel. I thought you'd take a fancy to her, Blanche; and perhaps you can think of some way to help them. Women know how to set about such things. I'm such a clumsy fellow that all I dared attempt was to deal out as much meal and bacon ...
— Nine Little Goslings • Susan Coolidge

... It was hard to wake him, for he scowled and snored and dropped heavily off again after each shaking, but at last he stood conscious before them and appeared to understand Roger's sharp questions well enough, though his only answer was a clumsy twist of his large head and a dismal negative ...
— Margarita's Soul - The Romantic Recollections of a Man of Fifty • Ingraham Lovell

... distributes a good deal of the lily. There you have the origin of the present crowd of historians, intent only upon the passing day, the selfish interest, the profit which they reckon to make out of their work; execration is their desert—in the present for their undisguised clumsy flattery, in the future for the stigma which their exaggerations bring upon history in general. If any one takes some admixture of the agreeable to be an absolute necessity, let him be content with the independent beauties of style; ...
— Works, V2 • Lucian of Samosata

... forty feet long, and twenty feet round at the thickest part. Its head, which seemed to me a great, blunt, shapeless thing, like a clumsy old boat, was eight feet long from the tip to the blowholes or nostrils; and these holes were situated on the back of the head, which at that part was nearly four feet broad. The entire head measured about twenty-one feet round. Its ears were two small holes, ...
— Fighting the Whales • R. M. Ballantyne

... into the closet, whence she returned with a dusty coil of rope. "Here, Geoffrey; quickly! put it about your waist. Wind it so. But how clumsy you are!" ...
— The Dragon of Wantley - His Tale • Owen Wister

... bunch on their backs. They seem to be very ugly creatures, their heads being ill-formed and disproportioned (sic) to their bodies. They carry all the burdens; and the beasts destined to the plough, are buffaloes, an animal you are also unacquainted with. They are larger and more clumsy than an ox; they have short thick black horns close to their heads, Which grow turning backwards. They say this horn looks very beautiful when 'tis well polished. They are all black, with very short hair on their ...
— Letters of the Right Honourable Lady M—y W—y M—e • Lady Mary Wortley Montague

... groan of utter disillusionment came a sound from the street, formless and clumsy, but brought to a sharp climax with the crash ...
— The Sturdy Oak - A Composite Novel of American Politics by Fourteen American Authors • Samuel Merwin, et al.

... Beresnik and gone to meet them empty-handed. The Bolo had regained his boat after a little firing between him and the second platoon which was at the upper end of the village. We were trying to locate oars for the clumsy Russian barzhaks on the bank, intending to cross to the island where the gunboat was moored and do a little navy work, when the British monitor hove into sight around a bend about three miles down stream, and opened fire on the gunboat. The first shot was a little ...
— The History of the American Expedition Fighting the Bolsheviki - Campaigning in North Russia 1918-1919 • Joel R. Moore

... over his ear to the pose of his foot in its elastic-sided patent boot, there was nothing clumsy or weak about old Jolyon. He was as upright—very nearly—as in those old times when he came every night; his sight was as good—almost as good. But what a feeling of ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... of necromancy, some of these animals were transformed to men, who, as soon as they assumed this new form, began to hunt the animals, and make war against them. It is expected that these animals will resume their human shapes, in a future state, and hence their hunters feign some clumsy excuses for their present policy of killing them. They believe that all animals, and birds, and reptiles, and even insects, possess reasoning faculties, and have souls. It is in these opinions, that we detect the ancient, doctrine ...
— Choice Specimens of American Literature, And Literary Reader - Being Selections from the Chief American Writers • Benj. N. Martin

... the weaver with intense expectation. A breathless silence ensued, and, far down the street, sounded the prophet's loud and sonorous voice. He pointed to the last of his pictures, which, in coarse, clumsy drawing, represented a town, from the houses of which flames arose in the ...
— The Merchant of Berlin - An Historical Novel • L. Muhlbach

... called Fletcher to him, and, linking his arm within the outlaw's, he drew him off in a stroll to a log bridge spanning a little gully. Here after gazing around, he took out a roll of bills, spread it out, split it equally, and without a word handed one half to Fletcher. With clumsy fingers Fletcher ...
— The Lone Star Ranger • Zane Grey

... upon them as they rose and flapped about in short and heavy flight. They seemed to be having great sport, for Kid was shouting and yelling at the birds, and Madge screaming with laughter at their clumsy efforts to escape. So absorbed were they in their play that they did not see us until we were almost beside them. At first Kid made as if he would start Dynamite off on the gallop, but Mrs. Williams called to him sternly, and he turned and trotted back to us, smiling ...
— Emerson's Wife and Other Western Stories • Florence Finch Kelly

... Great clumsy Time shall stumble and dance, who liked to kill little children and can hurt even the ...
— Selections from the Writings of Lord Dunsay • Lord Dunsany

... suppose that is enough to say about him. [Footnote: I may say that when afterwards, through the fortunes of war, this same chief was brought as a prisoner before a certain paunchy officer, the attempt of the latter to show his dignity was a clumsy failure. The proud and splendid chief, with arms folded across his breast, and head slightly bowed, looked singularly out of place arraigned before the stumpy ...
— Annette, The Metis Spy • Joseph Edmund Collins

... dresses we wore that day were very simply made and short. The reason we wore this kind of costume was that there was no carpet and the bare brick floor had ruined our beautiful red velvet gowns, also the clumsy eunuchs had kept stepping on our trains all the time. We had made up our minds that short dresses for general wear every day would be more practical. Her Majesty said: "Why must you change your clothes? I see you look much better without that tail dragging behind you on ...
— Two Years in the Forbidden City • The Princess Der Ling

... lady Whose conduct is shady Or smacking of doubtful propriety; When Virtue would quash her I take and whitewash her And launch her in first-rate society. I recommend acres Of clumsy dressmakers - Their fit and their finishing touches; A sum in addition They pay for permission To say that they ...
— Songs of a Savoyard • W. S. Gilbert

... Serge. "We with the chariots are horribly slow. It's all through having to depend upon these driver fellows and our horses having to drag a clumsy car at their heels. Now look here, I am beginning to think that the enemy's afoot coming down to surprise us, and, if so, we with the ...
— Marcus: the Young Centurion • George Manville Fenn

... atmosphere may be in some measure compensated, as we know, by regulating the quantity admitted to our houses—shutting up the windows. When we wish to regulate the admission of light to our rooms, we have recourse to various clumsy contrivances; paper blinds, perpetually tearing, sunblind rollers that will not roll, venetian blinds continually in need of mending, awnings blowing away with every storm, or shutters, which shut up and leave us in entire darkness. A self-acting window, which shall ...
— Fables of Infidelity and Facts of Faith - Being an Examination of the Evidences of Infidelity • Robert Patterson

... man. His whole life, if he be a dog of any pretension to gallantry, is spent in a vain show, and in the hot pursuit of admiration. Take out your puppy for a walk, and you will find the little ball of fur clumsy, stupid, bewildered, but natural. Let but a few months pass, and when you repeat the process you will find nature buried in convention. He will do nothing plainly; but the simplest processes of our material life will all be bent into the forms of an elaborate and mysterious ...
— Essays of Robert Louis Stevenson • Robert Louis Stevenson

... fever of anxiety for the safety of Gemma and his other friends. The studied politeness of the officers, the dull game of fencing and parrying, of insidious questions and evasive answers, worried and annoyed him, and the clumsy tramping backward and forward of the sentinel outside the door jarred detestably ...
— The Gadfly • E. L. Voynich

... Yet I never saw him less courageous or more humble than now. He was a rude, uncouth outlaw, he said, and knew none of the arts and speeches of a fine gentleman. She laughed at his clumsy ways and despised his ignorance. She would as soon think of trusting her safety to him as to ...
— Sir Ludar - A Story of the Days of the Great Queen Bess • Talbot Baines Reed

... beyond the ends of the fingers are vulgar, clawlike, and inconvenient; whilst if shorter, particularly much shorter than the fingers, they are unsightly and of little use, and cause the tips of the fingers to become thick and clumsy. Biting the nails should be avoided as a dirty and disagreeable habit, and one utterly destructive to their beauty, ...
— The Ladies Book of Useful Information - Compiled from many sources • Anonymous

... much gratified by his visit to Bath, and inspected its fine buildings with admiration. But he thought that Mr. Wood, who, he says, "created modern Bath," had left no worthy successor. In the buildings then in progress he saw clumsy designers at work, "blundering round about a meaning"—if, indeed, there was any meaning at all in their designs, which he confessed he failed to see. From Bath he went to London by coach, making the journey in safety, "although," he says, the collectors had been doing duty on Hounslow Heath." ...
— The Life of Thomas Telford by Smiles • Samuel Smiles

... shot be fired at a "loomery," the fowl fly away in thousands from their hatching places, without the number of those that are not frightened away being apparently diminished. The clumsy and short-winged birds, when they cast themselves out of their places, fall down at first a good way before they get "sufficient air" under their wings to be able to fly. Before this takes place, many plump down into the water, sometimes ...
— The Voyage of the Vega round Asia and Europe, Volume I and Volume II • A.E. Nordenskieold

... There is but one step from the sublime to the ridiculous, and this entrancing art, it seems, has taken it; sorely dislocating its graceful limbs, and injuring its goodly proportions in the unseemly escapade. We hate your crashing, clumsy chords, and utterly spit at and defy chromatic passages, from one end of the instrument to the other, and back again; flats, sharps, and most appropriate 'naturals,' spattered all over the page. The essential ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, February 1844 - Volume 23, Number 2 • Various

... herd of bisons had gone along that ledge road in clumsy safety, but right there now, at the curve of the projecting rock, stood one who could go no farther. A fragment of an arrow still sticking through one of his hind-legs told what had made him lame in the first place, and the marks of wolf-teeth explained ...
— Two Arrows - A Story of Red and White • William O. Stoddard

... roar of the water, the complaint of the spans coming down on their blocks as the cribs were whirled out from under their bellies. The stone-boats groaned and ground each other in the eddy that swung round the abutment, and their clumsy masts rose higher and ...
— Kipling Stories and Poems Every Child Should Know, Book II • Rudyard Kipling

... and you'll go on as good as you've begun, and end by liking and loving Cordelia because you pity her, I dare say. But though I'm going to behave myself, and bear with her, I shall never come up to that, for she is so queer and so clumsy, and she does dress so! I'm going to behave myself, though, I am,—I am; but I hope she won't expect too much, that she won't push forward too ...
— A Flock of Girls and Boys • Nora Perry

... having more than one meaning, and in writing these it is obvious that some means of distinction is desirable. The same thing occurs even more frequently in the Chinese language, which is monosyllabic. The Chinese adopt a more clumsy expedient, supplying a different symbol for each of the meanings of a syllable; so that while the actual word-sounds of their speech are only a few hundreds in number, the characters of their written language ...
— A History of Science, Volume 1(of 5) • Henry Smith Williams

... are like rough-hewn blocks of not very good quality, but imposing by reason of their size, and by the obstinate repetition of their rhythmic design, which is maintained as if it were an obsession. This heaping-up of music both crude and learned in style, with harmonies that are sometimes clumsy and sometimes delicate, is worth considering on account of its bulk. The orchestration is heavy and noisy; and the brass dominates and roughly gilds the rather sombre colouring of the great edifice. The underlying idea of the composition is neo-classic, and rather spongy and diffuse. Its harmonic ...
— Musicians of To-Day • Romain Rolland

... And on the big desk, amid a litter of papers and letters and books and ledgers, stood the little model in its clumsy box. ...
— Red-Robin • Jane Abbott

... them that truly trust you, 'tis a clumsy villany! Any knave may slay the child who climbs and slumbers ...
— Indian Poetry • Edwin Arnold

... hastily. "Even without the barrier of the parole, you could not. But I cannot talk. I am nervous, not myself today. You saw how clumsy I was when I brought the letter to show?—and after all did not get to show it. Well, I have been like that all day. I have grown fearful of everything—distrustful of every glance. Did you observe the watchfulness of Miss Loring on the lawn? Still, ...
— The Bondwoman • Marah Ellis Ryan

... the bare tossing branches, looking through the black trunks and across the paths glimmering white in the blue-grey distance for a seat where he might be safe from interruption, until at last he discovered a clumsy wooden bench, scored and slashed with the sand-ingrained initials of a quarter of a century's idleness, a seat of the old uncomfortable pattern gradually dying out from the walks. He could wait no longer, and was hurrying forward to secure it, when he was hailed by some one approaching ...
— The Giant's Robe • F. Anstey

... curious boat-bill heron is found,—its short thick neck and enormous beak giving it a clumsy, ungainly look alongside the elegant flamingo. The beak may be likened to two boats, laid one upon the other, gunwale to gunwale, the upper part of the mandible representing the keel. It feeds on the Crustacea which it picks ...
— The Western World - Picturesque Sketches of Nature and Natural History in North - and South America • W.H.G. Kingston

... down to a landing space on the floodlighted landing roof of the hotel and settled with a slight bump. "Don't move." The clumsy careful business of opening the door backward with his right hand and sliding out without taking his eyes from either of them ...
— The Man Who Staked the Stars • Charles Dye

... all stickem," the voice in the dark whispered, delightedly, and Barney could see a double row of glistening white ivory in the dim light that came through the window. He came nearer the clumsy wight, and saw that it was a pan of batter the cook had left on the table, probably the morning griddle-cakes. The negro was a mass of white, pasty glue, and knelt on the floor, licking his ...
— The Iron Game - A Tale of the War • Henry Francis Keenan

... Heinie. Which did Ann Boleyn use when she cooed into the suspicious ear of Henry VIII.? To which did Henrik Ibsen answer at the domestic hearth? It is difficult to imagine his wife calling him Henrik: the name is harsh, clumsy, razor-edged. But did she make it Hen or Rik, or neither? What was Bismarck to the Fuerstin, and to the mother he so vastly feared? Ottchen? Somehow it seems impossible. What was Grant to his wife? Surely not Ulysses! And Wolfgang ...
— Damn! - A Book of Calumny • Henry Louis Mencken

... neck. Also his leg was manifestly injured—how, she could not tell. It was evident that he must freeze if he lay here, and it seemed to her that perhaps he had pulled the dead brute over him to protect his torn skin from the extremity of cold. The lynx was already rigid, its clumsy paws asprawl,—and the torn skin and clot upon Trafford's face were stiff as she put her hands about his head to raise him. She turned him over on his back—how heavy he seemed?—and forced brandy between his ...
— The Literary World Seventh Reader • Various

... to move. He comforted her, absentmindedly, and dressed in the dark, swearing at the clumsy leggings. When he left, Hildigund put on her clothes and hurried ...
— The Valor of Cappen Varra • Poul William Anderson

... off, to gather a few coppers for 'em. But I soon found it was precious little I could get, no matter what I could do so long as my clothes warn't the right thing. So long as I didn't look my trade, they regarded my best as nothing but a clumsy imitation of my betters, an' laughed at what circus Joe said he couldn't do no better hisself. So I plucks up heart an' goes to Longstreet, as was the next market-town, an' into a draper's shop, an' tells 'em what I wanted, ...
— Weighed and Wanting • George MacDonald

... luxuriousness and yet the same courage. But the later decadents were far worse, especially the decadent critics, the decadent illustrators—there were even decadent publishers. And they utterly lost the light and reason of their existence: they were masters of the clumsy and the incongruous. I will take only one example. Aubrey Beardsley may be admired as an artist or no; he does not enter into the scope of this book. But it is true that there is a certain brief mood, a certain narrow aspect ...
— The Victorian Age in Literature • G. K. Chesterton

... sufferings, loudly called on the troopers, who had halted for a moment, to quicken their advance. *23 This delay had been caused by Carbajal's desire to bring his own guns to bear on the opposite columns. But the design was quickly abandoned; the clumsy ordnance was left on the field, and orders were given to the cavalry to charge; the trumpets sounded, and, crying their war-cries, the bold cavaliers struck their spurs into their steeds, and rode at ...
— The History Of The Conquest Of Peru • William H. Prescott

... Caressing him, Durtal said to himself, "Decidedly, she was right when she refused. It will be grotesque, atrocious. I was wrong to insist, but no, it's her fault, too. She must have wanted to do this or she wouldn't have come. What a fool to think she could aggravate passion by delay. She is fearfully clumsy. A moment ago when I was embracing her and really was aroused, it would perhaps have been delicious, but now! And what do I look like? A young bridegroom waiting—or a green country boy. Oh God, how stupid! Well," he said, straining his ...
— La-bas • J. K. Huysmans

... other by strips of thin cork at the corners, and they made a clumsy bundle. I had not looked at my client's card until now. Whilst he gave his directions to the landlady I took it up, and learned that his name was John Gregory; and that he lived in Westbourne Terrace. When my landlady had ...
— The Romance Of Giovanni Calvotti - From Coals Of Fire And Other Stories, Volume II. (of III.) • David Christie Murray

... him out on his back. Twice he rose and twice was struck down again. Blood covered his face, his breast, his hands, yet he persisted in getting up. Enraged by this ferocious tenacity of life, three, four, five clumsy peasants together stabbed him furiously in the belly, and the fanatic fell over, with the back of his neck against the silver bust. He turned like a flash and put his face against the metal, with his arms outspread and his legs drawn up. And San ...
— Stories by Foreign Authors: Italian • Various

... a rather short petticoat, with a fanciful bodice, in which red predominated. Quite a number of them were seen by the party during their stay in Stockholm, but all of them had coarse features and clumsy forms. ...
— Up The Baltic - Young America in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark • Oliver Optic

... made a specialty of this part of the business, knowing how very important it must always be to aviators. The rise was nothing compared to the descent, for many a gallant aircraft has been injured or even wrecked by clumsy manipulation, want of room or some other cause while landing ...
— The Aeroplane Boys on the Wing - Aeroplane Chums in the Tropics • John Luther Langworthy

... two boys were laughingly making a few cuts and guards with the clumsy old weapons; but directly after they started apart in confusion, as Sir ...
— Crown and Sceptre - A West Country Story • George Manville Fenn

... harsh he will soften with a sensible cultivation: those void of expression he will discard: he will exhibit the appearance of one at play; and will be [in his invention] on the rack, like [a dancer on the stage], who one while affects the motions of a satyr, at another of a clumsy cyclops. ...
— The Works of Horace • Horace

... clumsy thing! Oh! how he hurt me! I really can't dance any more— Let's walk—see, they're forming a Lancers; These square dances are such ...
— Point Lace and Diamonds • George A. Baker, Jr.

... human sympathy almost Shakspearian, who could step from the musings of Windsor and the beautiful heroine, all romance and ethereal splendour, to the lasses in their gay kirtles, and Hob and Raaf with their rustic "daffing," as true to the life as the Ayrshire clowns of Burns, and all the clumsy yet genial gambols of the village festival. It is one of the most curious and least to be expected transformations of poetic versatility—for it is even amazing how he could know the life into which he thus plunged joyous, as if he had been familiar with ...
— Royal Edinburgh - Her Saints, Kings, Prophets and Poets • Margaret Oliphant

... belting swings at Kid Wolf's head. The Texan dodged, elusive as a shadow. He leaped in, bored with his right and jolted Blacksnake from top to toe with a smashing left. The big outlaw staggered, then jumped back and tried to scoop up his gun. His right hand was helpless, however, and his left clumsy. His fingers missed it, and The Kid hit him again, bringing Blacksnake to his knees, groggy-headed and bleary-eyed. His hand closed over the whip. The stock was heavily loaded with lead, and it was a terrible weapon when held reversed. ...
— Kid Wolf of Texas - A Western Story • Ward M. Stevens

... the radiating nervures, the skeleton of the structure, is not at all the same; the network formed by the cross-nervures gives no idea whatever of the complex final arrangement. The rudimentary is succeeded by the infinitely complex; the clumsy by the infinitely perfect, and the same is true of the sheath of the wing and the final condition of its contents, the ...
— Social Life in the Insect World • J. H. Fabre

... said Beth, tipping up the board at her end. "What are you doing, butter-fingers?" she cried, as Sammy failed to catch hold. "I'm sorry I said you were a girl. You're much too clumsy." ...
— The Beth Book - Being a Study of the Life of Elizabeth Caldwell Maclure, a Woman of Genius • Sarah Grand

... Through the political influence of that great king this poetry spread over Europe; in Italy, its home, it assumed a French color, and thence the heroes of French tragedy went with the Anjous to Spain; it passed with Henrietta Maria to England, and we Germans, as a matter of course, built our clumsy temples to the powdered Olympus of Versailles. The most famous high-priest of this religion was Gottsched, that wonderful long wig whom our dear Goethe has so admirably described ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. VI. • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... The banks of the channel, with the trees and the rocks, were reflected in the tranquil waters, whose surface was unruffled save by the thousands of wild fowl that rose before us, and made a noise as of a multitude clapping hands, in their clumsy efforts to rise from the waters. Not one of them allowed us to ...
— Two Expeditions into the Interior of Southern Australia, Complete • Charles Sturt

... watchmaking it was a very common rule to say, let the height of the incline of the tooth be one-seventh of the outer diameter of the cylinder, and at the same time the trade was furnished with no tools except a clumsy douzieme gage; but with micrometer calipers which read to one-thousandths of an inch such rules can be definitely carried into effect and not left to guess work. Let us compare the old method with the new: Suppose we have a new cylinder to put in; we have the old escape wheel, but the former cylinder ...
— Watch and Clock Escapements • Anonymous

... passed she was approached by a Sanusian in a big, clumsy looking machine. Although built on the bee plan, it possessed an observation tower right on top of its "head." (The four afterward established that this was the sort of a machine that Smith's agent had operated.) The occupant approached to within ...
— The Devolutionist and The Emancipatrix • Homer Eon Flint

... much, and does little; Solomin lives a life of cheerful, reticent activity. As the revolution is not at hand, the best thing to do in the interim is to accomplish something useful. He has learned how to labour and to wait. "This calm, heavy, not to say clumsy man was not only incapable of lying or bragging; one might rely on him, like a stone wall." In every scene, whether among the affected aristocrats or among the futile revolutionists, Solomin appears to advantage. There is no worse indictment of human intelligence than the great compliment ...
— Essays on Russian Novelists • William Lyon Phelps

... storms. The oars were got out, and day after day the clumsy boat was pulled through the long rolling swell of the glassy sea. Still no sight of land. Their provisions were getting short again—their water was reduced to the lowest possible allowance, and the labor of the oar was rapidly exhausting their strength. The image of St. Francis was hourly ...
— The International Monthly, Volume 3, No. 1, April, 1851 • Various

... nature, and the common and obvious motives which influence large masses of their fellows; until at length the sublime contrivances of the universe sink, in their interpretation of them, into the clumsy expedients ...
— The Testimony of the Rocks - or, Geology in Its Bearings on the Two Theologies, Natural and Revealed • Hugh Miller

... month of her father's absence. She did not see her son's face when she spoke, being busy with her wood-carving. If she had, she would not have thought that the presence of Leam Dundas would bore or annoy him. The clumsy features gladdened into smiles, the dull eye brightened, the dim complexion flushed: if ever a face expressed supreme delight, Alick's did then; and it expressed what he felt, for, as we know, the one love of his boyish life was this girl-queen of ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 17, - No. 97, January, 1876 • Various

... Esculapius would have been hailed by me as an especial joy? However, no such angel came, neither was he within call; so as the danger struck me as imminent, and his condition appeared growing every moment more critical, I argued, without bleeding he would undoubtedly die, whereas by my attempt, however clumsy, he might rally. I plucked up my courage to the sticking-point, and stuck my patient. I drew several ounces of blood. My fair assistant displayed the most undeniable, I can hardly say irreproachable, coolness, for really, to my fancy, she was ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I, No. V, May, 1862 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... can afford it, but as he says, it's war times and money is scarce as brunette chorus girls. He has put the matter before the District Attorney and is going to sail for Far Cathay until they round up the gang. These criminals are so clumsy nowadays, I imagine it will be an ...
— The Voice on the Wire • Eustace Hale Ball

... Time went to the window for a moment and beckoned into the darkened street. Then I heard footsteps, clumsy and hesitant they seemed, upon the stairs. And in a moment a figure stood framed in the doorway—the figure of Father Christmas. He stood shuffling his feet, a timid, apologetic look upon ...
— Frenzied Fiction • Stephen Leacock

... But the sentence is an example of ellipse, a figure which Chatterton affected a good deal, and fully expressed would run 'She—not willing to take much, ever doth heed not to take much', which would of course be intolerably clumsy but ...
— The Rowley Poems • Thomas Chatterton

... it is further true that at the actual points of fighting the disproportion was five to one, we need no further illustration of the ills which inadequate co-ordination imposes on an Alliance, and inadequate staff-work and intelligence on any fighting force. The Allied tactics were probably not so clumsy nor the German troops so feeble ...
— A Short History of the Great War • A.F. Pollard

... bombarded pas, and her crew burnt villages and destroyed canoes and cultivations. If the man-of-war without guns was a figure of fun, the man-of-war with guns excited disgust by these doings even as far away as England. The whole proceeding was clumsy, cruel, and needless. A trifling ransom would have saved it all. The Maori tribal law under which wrecks were confiscated and castaways plundered was, of course, intolerable. Whites again and again suffered severely by it. But blundering and undisciplined ...
— The Long White Cloud • William Pember Reeves

... round-shouldered; at any rate, he was able calmly to speculate upon the point. Those who have contrived to make us ridiculous in our own and other people's eyes are not always gainers by their efforts. So it happened that Mansana, having come to the conclusion that Amanda's figure was clumsy, her face and conversation insignificant, her voice monotonous, her hair extravagantly dressed, and her wheedling manner foolish and silly, began to ask himself if, after all, he would not be making ...
— Captain Mansana and Mother's Hands • Bjoernstjerne Bjoernson

... the curates was musical, and Mat had an angelic voice. One could imagine the danger to the precocious, clever boy, and how perhaps, on his return, he would gibe a little in his impertinent boyish fashion at thickheaded, clumsy Tom among his cornbins ...
— Lover or Friend • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... which should have the right of veto on certain of the decisions of the "synod." As the name "G. A. New Zealand" appears among the list of signatories, it may be presumed that he concurred in this rather clumsy scheme; but in the following year he acted in the opposite direction by inviting Mr. Godley and another layman to sit in conference with the clergy of the diocese ...
— A History of the English Church in New Zealand • Henry Thomas Purchas

... might escape her and reveal themselves in music. It was difficult to prevent this, so long had she been accustomed to pour out all her feelings in harmony. The necessity for restraint irked her and made of her bow a clumsy thing which no longer obeyed her wishes. More than ever at that instant did she long for speech—speech that would conceal and protect ...
— Kilmeny of the Orchard • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... would touch it. It made him laugh, and he scoffed at the people and called them cowards and old women. Then he turned and saw the tight-rope, and said foolish people were daily wasting their money to see a clumsy and ignorant varlet degrade that beautiful art; now they should see the work of a master. With that he made a spring into the air and lit firm on his feet on the rope. Then he hopped the whole length of it back and forth on one ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... and the score was tied, but the time was growing short. Helen Thornton had the ball and was plainly trying to elude the tantalizing sophomore who barred her way. She made a clumsy feint of throwing the ball. It slipped from her fingers and rolled along the floor. There was a mad scramble for it. Mignon and Ellen Seymour leaped ...
— Marjorie Dean High School Freshman • Pauline Lester

... a trampled wilderness. Barricades were built across what was known as Inspectorate Street while the I.G. stood by and refreshed the thirsty workers with beer from his cellar; the big gate was loopholed, the walls strengthened, and clumsy look-out platforms, reminiscent of the Siege of Troy, constructed. From these I can guess he must have watched—and with what feelings!—the progress of the dreadful fires starting over the city; must have seen, down the long straight street, native Christians burning like torches, ...
— Sir Robert Hart - The Romance of a Great Career, 2nd Edition • Juliet Bredon

... those amongst us who live to the age of Methuselah will probably see all the accessible works printed by this body. Some half century ago Messrs. Novello published an edition of the church music, stupidly edited by the stupidest editor who ever laid clumsy fingers on a masterpiece. A shameful edition of the "King Arthur" music was prepared for the Birmingham Festival of 1897 by Mr. J.A. Fuller-Maitland, musical critic of "The Times." A publisher far-sighted and generous enough to issue a trustworthy edition of ...
— Old Scores and New Readings • John F. Runciman

... raft was approved by all, and they set to work without delay. It had been after four o'clock when they got back to the cabin and it was dark by the time the raft was ready for use. It was a clumsy affair, made of rough logs, spliced together with grapevine shoots, and it was barely large enough to carry the four boys. They took off their coats and shoes and socks, and rolled their trousers up ...
— Young Hunters of the Lake • Ralph Bonehill

... away, the tense expression on his face assumed again—and presently he was talking to Mr. and Mrs. Holmes, and patting the boy's head in a clumsy, overwrought way. ...
— The Miracle Man • Frank L. Packard

... whiteness, of sea-shell pink, of infantine smiles, and waving, golden curls, he stood up with a shy desire to approach the wonderful creature, and yet with a sort of embarrassed feeling of being very awkward and clumsy. He felt, somehow, as if he were a great, coarse behemoth; his arms seemed to him awkward appendages; his hands suddenly appeared to him rough, and his fingers swelled and stumpy. When he thought of asking an introduction, he felt himself growing very hot, and blushing ...
— Pink and White Tyranny - A Society Novel • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... wish they were all like you!" she cried, with a stamp of her foot. "Sometimes I despise gallantry. I hate the smooth compliments of your macaronies. I thank Heaven you are big and honest and clumsy and—" ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... been given to obviate any such sneering remarks as: "What could be, pray, the size of the mouth of a child in his mother's womb, and how could it grasp such a large and clumsy thing?" ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book I • Cao Xueqin

... then to the five sonnets inspired by the War. Let us be sparing of clumsy comment. They are the living heart of young England; the throbbing soul of all that gracious manhood torn from its happy quest of Beauty and Certainty, flung unheated into the absurdities of War, and yet finding in this supreme sacrifice an ...
— Shandygaff • Christopher Morley

... the orders of his lord were carried out, and especially watching the operations of putting the ballistas and catapults together on the walls. Cannon, though now in use, had by no means superseded these machines, for they were cumbrous and clumsy, and could only be fired at considerable intervals, and their aim was by no means accurate or their range extensive, as the charge of powder that could be used in them was comparatively small, and the powder itself ill-made and defective ...
— At Agincourt • G. A. Henty

... lantern on deck, and held a long-spouted can in his fingers. His back remained toward me as I drew near the stern, and, consequently, I no longer had a glimpse of his face. The wooden wheel of the boat, a clumsy appearing apparatus, rested almost directly against the bank, where the water was evidently deep enough to float the vessel, and the single rope holding it in position was drawn taut from the pressure of the current. Waiting until the ...
— The Devil's Own - A Romance of the Black Hawk War • Randall Parrish

... had made a big shaving-ball at kindergarten, and this was sent to grandfather with a Christmas greeting. Bobby's contribution was a highly decorated three-layer blotter with grandfather's name and address in red ink on the top layer. It was not a thing of beauty, being the work of his own clumsy little hands, but he felt sure it would be appreciated, for he had heard grandfather wish so often that "somebody" wouldn't take away the blotters ...
— Grandfather's Love Pie • Miriam Gaines



Words linked to "Clumsy" :   infelicitous, unmanageable, clumsiness, unskilled, ill-chosen



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