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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



... were killed by the breakage that fell with them, but one was quite alive and unhurt. I gathered up the remnants of the nest and set it with the young one in it by the loft window where the parent-birds might see, making clumsy strivings of pity to quiet my conscience. The parent-birds did see, soon enough: they returned, first up to the rafters, then darting round and round and crying; then to where their little one lay helpless and exposed, ...
— An Englishwoman's Love-Letters • Anonymous

... of their code, in their selective process. This selective process will be largely moulded by the public opinion of their country and age, emphasising some precepts and ignoring others, and the code will be the expression of the average morality of the time. If this clumsy and uncertain fashion of finding a rule of conduct does not suit us, we must be willing to exert our intelligence, to take a large view of the evolutionary process, and to deduce our moral precepts at any given stage by applying our reason to the scrutiny of this process ...
— The Basis of Morality • Annie Besant

... smouldering fires, but instead its eyes were neat little windows with tidy curtains, for the monster turned out to be three diminutive houses on wheels drawn by a huge motor. What their end and purpose might be, is imaginable. If it is for the comfort of the High Command en campagne, the great clumsy procession rivaling the speed of a snail is a heap of trouble for ...
— Lige on the Line of March - An American Girl's Experiences When the Germans Came Through Belgium • Glenna Lindsley Bigelow

... expended in raising or coiling it, and in no possible way can it do more. In practice, on account of friction, etc., we know it does less. This law, being invariable, of course limits us, as it did Archimedes and Pythagoras; we have simply utilized sources of power that their clumsy workmen allowed to escape. Of the four principal sources—food, fuel, wind, and tide—including harnessed waterfalls, the last two do by far the most work. Much of the electrical energy in every thunderstorm is also captured and condensed in our capacious storage batteries, ...
— A Journey in Other Worlds - A Romance of the Future • John Jacob Astor

... his clumsy craft was painfully slow; but it did move, and at the end the dreaded ice monster was beyond both sight and hearing. The exercise of rowing had warmed Cabot as well as temporarily diverted his mind from a contemplation of the terrible scenes through which he had so recently passed. Now, ...
— Under the Great Bear • Kirk Munroe

... "I am clumsy to-day!" he exclaimed. "A thousand pardons!" He let the broken toy slip from his fingers to the polished surface of the table, and forgot that it was there. "Since Colonel Byrd (I am sorry to learn) keeps his room with a fit of the gout, may I—an old acquaintance, ...
— Audrey • Mary Johnston

... to touch the uneven surface of the descent. He looked as if galloping in air, and tossed his head fiercely as though to shake the rising sun out of his eyes. The bull seemed continually gathering himself for a great leap, his clumsy bulk heaving from side to side. But a quarter of the distance had been traversed when the great curves of the lasso sprang forward, and, amidst a hoarse murmur from the boys, caught the bull below the horns. ...
— The Valiant Runaways • Gertrude Atherton

... a Scotch lake. 2. The value of the rim 3. A rough or clumsy cut between a sunbeam and the old ladies' beverage. 4. A man's name and an island. 5. A teacher commanding one of his male scholars to perform his task. 6. A bun and a hotel. 7. A light, and a "k," and a measure of ...
— St. Nicholas, Vol. 5, No. 2, December, 1877 • Various

... of fun, in spite of all his efforts, played about good Sir Richard's eye as he gave this searching hint. The two Welsh gentlemen stammered out clumsy thanks; and pleading great haste and fatigue from a long journey, contrived to fall to the rear and vanish with their guides, as soon as the ...
— Westward Ho! • Charles Kingsley

... the scouts crowded in front to peer through the puzzling fog to see the questionable boulder, but IT unexpectedly got upon its clumsy feet and started for the girls. In the fog it loomed up as big ...
— Girl Scouts in the Adirondacks • Lillian Elizabeth Roy

... led the way through a low door into a long narrow room with a row of little square windows on each side all covered with little square white curtains. The walls and ceiling were planked and the workmanship of the whole rude and clumsy; but a gay carpet covered the floor, a chandelier adorned with lustres, hung from a hook in the ceiling, large gilded vases and a mirror in a tarnished gilt frame adorned a shelf over the hearth, mahogany chairs stood in ranks against ...
— Castle Nowhere • Constance Fenimore Woolson

... gold and ivory of the Olympian Jove; tear from the brow of Phidias the laurel wreath with which the world has crowned him. Supply of raw material is little without the ability to use it. Furnish three men with stone and mortar, and while one is building an unsightly heap of clumsy masonry, the architect will rear up a magnificent cathedral—an Angelo, a St. Peter's. And so when ideas, which in their crudeness are often as hard to be digested as unground corn, are run through the mill of another's mind, and appear in a shape suited to satisfy ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 2, No 3, September, 1862 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy. • Various

... cannon-mouth-like hole was in the wall, To which they set it true by eye; and then Came up the jointed stovepipe in their hands, So much too light and airy for their strength It almost seemed to come ballooning up, Slipping from clumsy clutches toward the ceiling. "A fit!" said one, and banged a stovepipe shoulder. "It's good luck when you move in to begin With good luck with your stovepipe. Never mind, It's not so bad in the country, settled down, ...
— Mountain Interval • Robert Frost

... my favorite ewer, and it's all smashed to bits, and I never can match it again. You careless, clumsy, ...
— Mistress and Maid • Dinah Craik (aka: Miss Mulock)

... it curiously, for it was open at the portrait of Roberts. Underneath the portrait were a few words written in pencil in a clumsy scrawl. I read them over, expecting some of the ordinary ...
— Jim Davis • John Masefield

... comparatively rare, and, when they occur, are among the least satisfactory of this people's productions. They are coarse, clumsy, purely formal in their design, and generally characterized by an undue flatness, or want of breadth in the side view, as if they were only intended to be seen directly in front. Sometimes, however, this defect is not ...
— The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 2. (of 7): Assyria • George Rawlinson

... scene I had time to survey my new friend, Dr. Darwin. He was a large man, fat, and rather clumsy; but intelligence and benevolence were painted in his countenance. He had a considerable impediment in his speech, a defect which is in general painful to others; but the doctor repaid his auditors so well for making them ...
— Richard Lovell Edgeworth - A Selection From His Memoir • Richard Lovell Edgeworth

... the morning, and the stubble of the lately mown grass was wet with rain and hindering to old feet. Peggy Bond was more blundering and liable to stray in the wrong direction than usual; it was one of the days when she could hardly see at all. Aunt Lavina Dow was unusually clumsy of movement, and stiff in the joints; she had not been so far from the house for three years. The morning breeze filled the gathers of her wide gingham skirt, and aggravated the size of her unwieldy ...
— A Country Doctor and Selected Stories and Sketches • Sarah Orne Jewett

... letters and principal words, of which we see so many examples in the elaborately illustrated Catalogue of the library at Laon by Ed. Fleury, and in that of Cambray, by M. Durieux. Most of these pre-Carolingian designs are barbarous in the extreme, dreadfully clumsy in execution, but they evince considerable ingenuity and a strong predilection ...
— Illuminated Manuscripts • John W. Bradley

... 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 ...
— The Dangerous Age • Karin Michaelis

... bluffness." But to such abuse, unseasoned by wit, Mr. Sheridan was not at all likely to have condescended, being well aware that, "as in smooth oil the razor best is set," so satire is whetted to its most perfect keenness by courtesy. His clumsy reporters have, in this, as in almost all other instances, ...
— Memoirs of the Life of Rt. Hon. Richard Brinsley Sheridan Vol 2 • Thomas Moore

... got anything in the bags yet!" wailed Jennie Stone. "All this walk on these clumsy ...
— Ruth Fielding at Snow Camp • Alice Emerson

... it. He wrote her he was going to Chicago, and would take the money with him, as he would only remain for a day. To Chicago he came, and, as related, robbed himself, sending off the money in a registered letter to himself. Then he appeared at Police Headquarters with his cut pocket and clumsy story, which appeared in the next morning's paper. He sent a marked copy of the paper to the lady, and at the same time wrote a hypocritical letter stating that he was so heartbroken over losing her money that he did not have the courage to look her in the face, and never ...
— Bidwell's Travels, from Wall Street to London Prison - Fifteen Years in Solitude • Austin Biron Bidwell

... you are!" said Gherardi tauntingly. "A man like you with a dozen secret intrigues in Rome, should surely be able to grasp a situation better! Angela Sovrani lives, I tell you,—I am here to help you to kill her more surely! Your first attempt was clumsy,— and dangerous to yourself, but—murder her reputation, amico, murder her reputation!—and ...
— The Master-Christian • Marie Corelli

... is the Lords," in the Windham church; with cords and tassels, with hanging fringes, with panels and balls; and thus formed a great ornament to the church, and a source of honest pride to the church members. The clumsy sounding-board was usually hung by a slight iron rod, which looked smaller still as it stretched up to the high, raftered roof, and always appeared to be entirely insufficient to sustain the great weight ...
— Sabbath in Puritan New England • Alice Morse Earle

... said Jerry, pointing to one of those huge clumsy vessels that are so frequently met with at sea, even in the present day, as to lead one to imagine that some of the shipbuilders in the time of Noah must have come alive again and gone to work at their old trade on the old plans and drawings. "Luk at that, ...
— The Floating Light of the Goodwin Sands • R.M. Ballantyne

... then determine its development. I do not know when this imbecile condition will pass off, perhaps it is only that I am out of practice. When a workman has left his tools behind him for a time his hand becomes clumsy; it has, so to speak, undergone a divorce from them; he must needs begin again little by little to establish that fraternity due to habit and which binds the hand to the implement and the implement to the hand." But his discouragement did not last long, for ...
— Honor de Balzac • Albert Keim and Louis Lumet

... as you will see from the enclosed report. His Majesty cannot again say that I have been neglectful. I was quite right. It is Sebastian and only Sebastian that we need fear. Here they are clumsy conspirators compared to him. I have been in the river half the night listening at the open stern-window of a Reval pink to every word they said. His Majesty can safely come to Konigsberg. Indeed, he is better out of Dantzig. For the ...
— Barlasch of the Guard • H. S. Merriman

... tables in the street were already surrounded by persons smoking and drinking the national small-beer, the public rooms were in a cloud of smoke, and Mr. Jos having, in his pompous way, and with his clumsy German, made inquiries for the person of whom he was in search, was directed to the very top of the house, above the first-floor rooms where some travelling pedlars had lived, and were exhibiting ...
— Vanity Fair • William Makepeace Thackeray

... searching for finger-prints and so on. As none of those proceedings served any good purpose in the previous cases, it would be waste of time to resort to them in a seventh, similar case. An enemy who displays such skill and subtlety would not leave behind her any of those clumsy traces which are the first things that a professional detective ...
— The Eight Strokes of the Clock • Maurice Leblanc

... had occurred to the Kentuckian, who held his gun at full cock, until he should be able to learn the truth. While thus employed be could not help reflecting on the improbability of such a clumsy artifice being that time, for there was no call for the attempt, no prospect of deceiving two persons who displayed ...
— The Lost Trail - I • Edward S. Ellis

... you! You got your English and your Germans here to point their bills, and stretch their necks, and hiss, if this gentleman—and your newspapers!—if he didn't give up to you like a funky traveller to a highwayman. I remember a tale of a clumsy Turpin, who shot himself when he was drawing the pistol out of his holsters to frighten the money-bag out of a market farmer. You've done about the same, you Richmond; and, of all the damned poor speeches I ever heard from a convicted felon, yours is the worst—a sheared ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... of her, so he was obliged to apply to the next girl to her for his brandy and soda. He drank slowly, hoping her admirers would leave her, but one soldier was stationery, and this spot of red grew singularly offensive in Frank's eyes, from the clumsy, characterless boots, to the close-clipped hair set off with the monotonously jaunty cap. The man sprawled over the counter drinking a glass of porter. Frank tried to listen to what he was saying. Lizzie smiled, ...
— Spring Days • George Moore

... Householders, why be swindled in a clumsy manner? Fetch your second-hand clothing to me and be done in ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 159, September 15, 1920 • Various

... than negative rules can be laid down. For positive rules, for suggestion, nature alone inspires it. Who dare assume to guide a youth, a maid, to perfect manners?—the golden mean is so delicate, difficult,—say frankly unattainable. What finest hands would not be clumsy to sketch the genial precepts of the young girl's demeanor? The chances seem infinite against success; and yet success is continually attained. There must not be secondariness, and 'tis a thousand to one that her air and manner will at once betray that she is not primary, but that there ...
— English Prose - A Series of Related Essays for the Discussion and Practice • Frederick William Roe (edit. and select.)

... canvas. There is a good board floor and mop-board, effectually excluding dampness and draughts, and everything but sand, which on windy days penetrates everywhere. The office furniture consists of a good desk or secretary, a very clumsy and disastrous settee, and a remarkable chair. The desk is a bequest of the slaveholders, and the settee of the slaves, being ecclesiastical in its origin, and appertaining to the little old church or "praise-house," now used for commissary purposes. ...
— Army Life in a Black Regiment • Thomas Wentworth Higginson

... Is any one great outside Germany? Very well, let us trace his German origin. It may be remote, it may be hidden by centuries of illusory nationality, but it must be there. France has her apostles of superiority. Their style is more flexible, their pretensions less clumsy, but they neglect no opportunity of seducing us into a belief that France, and France only, is mistress of the human mind. Russia has her fervid declaimers of holy excellence and the superior quality of the Slav character. It ...
— Mountain Meditations - and some subjects of the day and the war • L. Lind-af-Hageby

... although George evidently risked considerable, and shoved on every horsepower his engine was rated at, he could not quite overtake the big clumsy craft he had affected to despise; so that the Comfort was alongside before the speed boat was more ...
— Motor Boat Boys Mississippi Cruise - or, The Dash for Dixie • Louis Arundel

... said Cameron. "I've watched you stepping about the house and you are not a bit clumsy. If you only practised a bit you would soon pick ...
— Corporal Cameron • Ralph Connor

... we all wrote, fast and furiously, to get down something of enormous history, word-pictures of things seen, heroic anecdotes, the underlying meaning of this new slaughter. There was never time to think out a sentence or a phrase, to touch up a clumsy paragraph, to go back on a false start, to annihilate a vulgar adjective, to put a touch of style into one's narrative. One wrote instinctively, blindly, feverishly... And downstairs were the censors, sending up messages by orderlies to say "half-time," or "ten minutes more," and cutting ...
— Now It Can Be Told • Philip Gibbs

... sisters had done before her. It was not merely that she was pretty, but she suddenly assumed an air of graciousness and dignity which captivated everyone. Some very little girls do acquire this air: what its source is no one knows. In this case certainly not Mr. and Mrs. Symons, who were particularly clumsy. Etta, as she was called, was often summoned from the nursery when visitors came; so were Minna and Louie her elder sisters, but all the ladies wanted to talk to Etta. Minna and Louie had by this time, at ...
— The Third Miss Symons • Flora Macdonald Mayor

... 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 arranged will ...
— Papers on Health • John Kirk

... he met he confided the circumstance of his clumsy mistake, and one of them remembered in the light of after events that though he spoke with his ordinary reserve of manner his eyes had held a "queer glitter." Tollman told these persons that he would take the later train to his ...
— The Tyranny of Weakness • Charles Neville Buck

... come at times of much more intimate and personal emotion—those times when we can hardly endure the words and presence of those we love best? What the sensitive have endured at the hands—or tongues—of well-meaning but clumsy sympathizers—not infrequently curious as well as sympathetic—only those who have suffered can relate. In addition to the natural grief experienced, the members of the family are usually worn out ...
— Mother's Remedies - Over One Thousand Tried and Tested Remedies from Mothers - of the United States and Canada • T. J. Ritter

... tact and brilliancy, like me, has an undue advantage in conversation with men. They are astonished at our instincts. They do not see where we got our knowledge; and, while they tramp on in their clumsy way, we wheel, and fly, and dart hither and thither, and seize with ready eye all the weak points, like Saladin in the desert. It is quite another thing when we come to write, and, without suggestion from another mind, to declare the positive amount of thought that is in us. Because ...
— Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli, Vol. I • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... The rather clumsy boat turned slowly toward shore, and a little later had "poked her nose," as Russ expressed it, against a luxuriant growth of tropical vegetation, in the midst of some low ...
— The Moving Picture Girls Under the Palms - Or Lost in the Wilds of Florida • Laura Lee Hope

... twofold doctrine of spontaneous generation and transmutation of species; but, unfortunately, the first process is so perfect, in the present instance, as to leave little room for the second, and we are almost tempted to hope that perhaps the clumsy and troublesome expedient of a transmutation of species may yet be superseded by the discovery of some method,—we know not what,—whereby not only the articulata, but the vertebrata, and even Man himself, may be immediately ...
— Modern Atheism under its forms of Pantheism, Materialism, Secularism, Development, and Natural Laws • James Buchanan

... passed by in this fashion, good and evil days alternating. During this period Rodolphe was a score of times on the point of separating from Mademoiselle Mimi, who had for him all the clumsy cruelties of the woman who does not love. Properly speaking, this life had become a hell for both. But Rodolphe had grown accustomed to these daily struggles, and dreaded nothing so much as a cessation of this state of things; for he felt that with it would cease forever the fever and agitations ...
— Bohemians of the Latin Quarter • Henry Murger

... provinces of Fars and Kerman are identical with those employed in the neighboring country of Media, and will need only a very few words of notice here. The ordinary horse of the country is the Turcoman, a large, strong, but somewhat clumsy animal, possessed of remarkable powers of endurance; but in the Deshtistan the Arabian breed prevails, and travellers tell us that in this region horses are produced which fall but little short of the most admired coursers of Nejd. Cows and oxen are somewhat rare, ...
— The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 5. (of 7): Persia • George Rawlinson

... Americans in steamers and vessels adapted for the navigation of their rivers are so far acknowledged by them as to lead to the discontinuance of junk building to a marked extent, yet the vessels they now build are of the same uncouth, clumsy, and expensive shape as the first they ever put on ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No. 6, December 1864 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... the autumn. You might have disliked him heartily, but you would have found him piquant and stimulating. And of all the glorious heads on man's shoulders he possesses the most glorious—the head of a god attached to a rather awkward and clumsy body.' ...
— Eleanor • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... been bulky and clumsy enough on the E-Stat asteroid under limited gravity, was almost twice as poorly adapted to progression on earth. But he climbed into it with Rip's aid, while Ali lashed a second suit under the seat—ready to encase the man Dane must bring back with ...
— Plague Ship • Andre Norton

... complicated proportion of States or legislatures. The consequence is that the most obvious evils cannot be quickly remedied; that the most absurd fictions must be framed to evade the plain sense of mischievous clauses; that a clumsy working and curious technicality mark the politics of a rough-and-ready people. The practical arguments and the legal disquisitions in America are often like those of trustees carrying out a misdrawn will—the sense of what they mean is good, ...
— The English Constitution • Walter Bagehot

... discipline, and perseverance would often enable an inferior number to vanquish a vast host of the barbarians. Besides, they were but ill equipped. Few of them wore any armour; their narrow shields, which were of the same height with their bodies, were weak and clumsy; they rushed upon their enemies with broad thin battle-swords of bad steel, which the first blow upon iron often notched and rendered useless. Like true savages, they destroyed the inhabitants, the towns, and the agriculture of the countries they conquered. ...
— The Land-War In Ireland (1870) - A History For The Times • James Godkin

... the bathers were arranged on the steps by which we mounted the stage, and I had several narrow escapes from being prostrated on the marble pavement ere I reached the small door leading into the hummum; so difficult do the uninitiated find the use of these wooden bridges, which are clumsy, heavy, and slippery as skates. I shuffled along very awkwardly, much to the amusement of three sedate old gentlemen, who were puffing and melting from the effects of a long sojourn in the heated atmosphere of the inner chamber. The first ...
— Journal of a Visit to Constantinople and Some of the Greek Islands in the Spring and Summer of 1833 • John Auldjo

... as "dear old Geoffrey." She never criticized his points; nor did she think that Yae's admiration was in very good taste. However, she accepted it as a clumsy compliment from an uneducated girl who knew no better. The gipsy companion watched with a peculiar smile. She understood ...
— Kimono • John Paris

... Nivernais, nor the coming ambassador, de Guerchy, a man far from wealthy, had the faintest desire to pay the bills. Angry and tactless letters, therefore, passed between d'Eon in London and de Guerchy, de Nivernais, and de Praslin in Paris. De Guerchy was dull and clumsy; d'Eon used him as the whetstone of his wit, with a reckless abandonment which proves that he was, as they say, 'rather above himself,' like Napoleon before the march to Moscow. London, in short, was the Moscow of little d'Eon. When de Guerchy ...
— Historical Mysteries • Andrew Lang

... for the Hawk, and found him already in the lockers and pulling out three space-suits. The clumsy, heavy cone of a portable heat-ray lay on the ...
— The Affair of the Brains • Anthony Gilmore

... to his utmost to cultivate the good-humour and happiness of others, and to contribute to the ease and comfort of all his acquaintance, however low in rank fortune may have placed him, or however clumsy he may be in his figure or demeanour, hath, in the truest sense of the word, a ...
— Miscellanies, Volume 2 (from Works, Volume 12) • Henry Fielding

... of this book is not better than its substantial merits deserve. The style is generally clumsy, often obscure, and not unseldom harsh and inflated. Take an instance or two, picked out absolutely at random.—"The disaffected, who held throughout the contest the seaboard of the State in abeyance, driven forth, would have felt in their wanderings there would be no parley with them." ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 4, February, 1858 • Various

... it be well understood, that "form" is of no importance, or that, provided he makes himself intelligible, the historian has a right to employ incorrect, vulgar, slovenly, or clumsy language. A contempt for rhetoric, for paste diamonds and paper flowers, does not exclude a taste for a pure and strong, a terse and pregnant style. Fustel de Coulanges was a good writer, although throughout his life he recommended and practised the avoidance of metaphor. On the ...
— Introduction to the Study of History • Charles V. Langlois

... clumsy, gaping idiot!" roared Sir Morton, growing purple with increasing fury. "Tabitha!" called 'The Riversford Gazette.' If Sir Morton had a pig killed, the fact was duly notified to an admiring populace in the 'Riversford Gazette.' If he took a prize in cabbages at the local vegetable ...
— God's Good Man • Marie Corelli

... graciously pleased also, upon their good behaviour, to remit the subsequent execution. She sent presents to all the learned men in Asia; and they in return did not fail to cry her up as a pattern of clemency, wisdom, and virtue: and though the panegyrics of the learned are generally as clumsy as they are fulsome, they ventured to allure her that their writings would be as durable as brass, and that the memory of her glorious reign would reach ...
— Hieroglyphic Tales • Horace Walpole

... of the pools that used to splash With drumlike music, under maidens' hands, Groans now when bisons from the jungle lash It with their clumsy horns, and ...
— Translations of Shakuntala and Other Works • Kaalidaasa

... rage as he was, seemed none the less almost as profoundly frightened and surprised as she herself was. "What did you do that for?" he cried, now sufficiently recovered for thought and speech, wringing his hand with pain, and then popping his finger hastily into his mouth to ease it. "You are a clumsy thing. And you want to destroy me, ...
— The Great Taboo • Grant Allen

... apart. He was thinking of the buttons that his clumsy fingers used to force into the stiff, starchy holes too small for them and of the pigtails so stubborn at the ends; and Toby was remembering the little shoes that had once needed to be laced in the cold, dark mornings, and the strings that ...
— Polly of the Circus • Margaret Mayo

... remember now. Mrs. Scargill was talking about her at the Duffins' tennis, before you came for me, on Tuesday. Captain Mafflin said she was a 'dear old woman.' Do you know, I think Mafflin is a very clumsy man with ...
— Soldiers Three • Rudyard Kipling

... 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 ...
— Shandygaff • Christopher Morley

... garden into 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 ...
— Sir Robert Hart - The Romance of a Great Career, 2nd Edition • Juliet Bredon

... substitutes of virtue, instead of its ornaments. This, indeed, is the moral value of the play at large, and that which places it at a world's distance from the spirit of modern jacobinism. The latter introduces to us clumsy copies of these showy instrumental qualities, in order to reconcile us to vice and want of principle; while the Atheista Fulminato presents an exquisite portraiture of the same qualities, in all their gloss ...
— Biographia Literaria • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... between real genera. We know what kind of physics grew out of this, and how, for having believed in a science unique and final, embracing the totality of the real and at one with the absolute, the ancients were confined, in fact, to a more or less clumsy interpretation of the physical in ...
— Creative Evolution • Henri Bergson

... devil's chaplain might write on the clumsy, wasteful, blundering, low, and horribly cruel works of nature! With respect to crossing, from one sentence in your letter I think you misunderstand me. I am very far from believing in hybrids: only in crossing of the same species or of close varieties. These ...
— More Letters of Charles Darwin - Volume I (of II) • Charles Darwin

... delicate shiver that seemed almost magnetic as it was communicated to his hand. He knew what was happening. Some one was untying the bit of paper he had fastened to the rod, and with fingers that shook and were clumsy ...
— Green Fancy • George Barr McCutcheon

... is likely to give us a long drag," said the master, as he stood balancing himself on the clumsy elects in the bows of the boat, using his lance as an adept in saltation poises his pole on the wire, the water curling fairly above the gunwale forward, with the rapid movement of the boat; "I would haul up alongside, and give him the lance, did I not distrust ...
— The Sea Lions - The Lost Sealers • James Fenimore Cooper

... they employed was a piece of green aspen, beaten up, and placed near the trap. At length an Indian tried whether a male might not be caught by adding some of the castoreum. By that time steel traps had been introduced, instead of the clumsy wooden traps before used. Not only were the males caught, but the females also; and the trappers were now able with their steel traps to catch vast numbers of the infatuated animals. It is said that the creatures, when perceiving the scent, will sit ...
— The Western World - Picturesque Sketches of Nature and Natural History in North - and South America • W.H.G. Kingston

... of scholars engaged in the severest studies. In his Britannia, which gives a more complete and instructive picture of the country than any other work, they all took a lively interest. Their works are clumsy and old-fashioned, but they breathe a spirit of thoroughness and breadth which does honour to the age. With what zeal were ecclesiastical antiquities studied in Cambridge, after Whitaker had pointed the way! Men sought to weed out what was spurious, and in ...
— A History of England Principally in the Seventeenth Century, Volume I (of 6) • Leopold von Ranke

... but this objection can be removed by the adoption of Mr. Ford's plan of greatly reducing the size of the flap of the bar, and making it fit into an opening cut out of the near flap of the saddle (Fig. 16). I have found this arrangement a great improvement on the old clumsy flap, the lower edge of which is unpleasantly apt to catch on the rider's boot, especially when trotting. I shall discuss the failings of safety ...
— The Horsewoman - A Practical Guide to Side-Saddle Riding, 2nd. Ed. • Alice M. Hayes

... Felix came across the artillery, which consisted of battering rams and immense crossbows; the bows were made from entire trees, or, more properly, poles. He inspected these clumsy contrivances with interest, and entered into a conversation with some men who were fitting up the framework on which a battering ram was to swing. Being extremely conceited with themselves and the knowledge they had acquired from experience ...
— After London - Wild England • Richard Jefferies

... long as a single boat's crew remained afloat, it was the little rock of Psara. Yet, in spite of repeated warnings, the Greek Government allowed the Turkish fleet to pass the Dardenelles unobserved, and some clumsy feints were enough to blind it to the real object of an expedition whose aim was known to all Europe. There were ample means for succouring the islanders, as subsequent events proved; but when the Turkish admiral, Khosrew, with 10,000 men on board, appeared before Psara, ...
— History of Modern Europe 1792-1878 • C. A. Fyffe

... of the old struggling days embalmed. The walls of great unhewn logs fastened at the corners by notching; the crevices chinked up with chips and clay; the single rude square window shuttered across; the roof of basswood troughs, all blackened with age; the rough door, creaking on clumsy wooden hinges when Mr. Holt unlocked it,—these were not encouraging features, viewed by the light of a future personal experience. Robert stole a glance at Arthur as they stepped inside the low dark shed, and, as Arthur had with similar motives ...
— Cedar Creek - From the Shanty to the Settlement • Elizabeth Hely Walshe

... and bark and jerk, ready to dodge into their hole in a moment. They all looked fat and clumsy. Their color is reddish-brown. Owls and rattlesnakes are often found living with them; but Annie did ...
— The Nursery, August 1873, Vol. XIV. No. 2 • Various

... the woman to study her, we can imagine the fair ones getting together and nudging one another in keen amusement as to what this seer is going to say. It is often sufficiently amusing when the clumsy male approaches her with self-satisfied air, thinking he has the secret of her mysterious being. I have no intention here of entering a rival search for the secret. But we can, perhaps, startle the gay ones from ...
— Principles of Freedom • Terence J. MacSwiney

... Had this clumsy libel appeared anywhere else than in a paper circulated in the immediate neighborhood of his home, probably Bradlaugh would have paid no attention to it. Other things quite as bad had been said ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 9 - Subtitle: Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Reformers • Elbert Hubbard

... nonsense' says Prof. Skeat. 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 perfectly intelligible. ...
— The Rowley Poems • Thomas Chatterton

... more clumsy, more ill-bred, or more unfortunate. I had come to make an apology and had given further offence. Just like my luck! And the daughter, too—I had hurt her feelings. Still, she had stood up for me; she had said to her father, ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... 'We see through a glass darkly,' said St. Paul of old; and what is more, dazzle and weary our eyes, like clumsy microscopists, by looking too long and earnestly through the imperfect and by no means achromatic lens. Enough. I will think of something else. I will think of ...
— Prose Idylls • Charles Kingsley

... out in the room, and as they looked at him, many a boy cursed him in their hearts for evil taught them, such as a lifetime's struggle could not unteach. And it was that fellow, that stupid, clumsy, base compound of meanness and malice, that had ruled like ...
— Eric • Frederic William Farrar

... century, mechanism of organs so clumsy, that one in Westminster Abbey, with four hundred pipes, required twenty-six bellows and seventy stout men. First organ ever known in Europe received by King Pepin, from the Emperor Constantine, in 757. Water boiling was kept in a reservoir under ...
— Passages From The American Notebooks, Volume 1 • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... accident should suddenly flash favouring light on his now impersonal and indiscoverable individuality, seems clear enough when we take into account the double and final disproof of his imaginary identity with Marlowe, which Mr. Dyce has put forward with such unanswerable certitude. He is a clumsy and coarse-fingered plagiarist from that poet, and his stolen jewels of expression look so grossly out of place in the homely setting of his usual style that they seem transmuted from real to sham. On the other hand, he is of all the Pre- Shakespeareans known to us incomparably the truest, the ...
— A Study of Shakespeare • Algernon Charles Swinburne

... party, was a Swede, and a Swede in a very bad humour. The iron ring in his torn nose, and the stout stick in the hand of one of his Italian masters, showed very plainly that he needed stern discipline. Now he dragged at the strong rope attached to the iron ring, and held back, moving his clumsy legs as if his machinery were out of order, or at least as if goodwill were lacking to give it ...
— The Golden House • Mrs. Woods Baker

... trailing of the aerial garment of the advancing day. And with the coming of the sound and the light the sphere lurched, and blinded and dazzled we staggered helplessly against each other. It lurched again, and the hissing grew louder. I had shut my eyes perforce, I was making clumsy efforts to cover my head with my blanket, and this second lurch sent me helplessly off my feet. I fell against the bale, and opening my eyes had a momentary glimpse of the air just outside our glass. It was running—it was boiling—like snow into which a white-hot rod ...
— The First Men In The Moon • H. G. Wells

... sight of the British uniforms and the machine guns was a great encouragement. The road was so narrow that they had to turn their cars into a field to let us pass. We had just come up with a number of farm waggons, and the clumsy Flemish carts, with their huge horses, the grey armoured cars, with their blazing headlights, and our four red motor-buses, made a strange scene in the darkness of the night. At last we reached Ghent utterly tired out, though personally I had slept a sort of nightmare ...
— A Surgeon in Belgium • Henry Sessions Souttar

... and plunder of, old prints. Venerable philosophers, and veteran heroes, who had long reposed in unmolested dignity within the magnificent folio volumes which recorded their achievements, were instantly dragged forth from their peaceful abodes, to be inlaid by the side of some clumsy modern engraving, within ...
— Bibliomania; or Book-Madness - A Bibliographical Romance • Thomas Frognall Dibdin

... caught doing such a clumsy thing, Mary Louise. And, even if detectives were placed here to watch your actions, they wouldn't be interested in spying ...
— Mary Louise • Edith van Dyne (one of L. Frank Baum's pen names)

... interest inspired by the spirited content of this truly classical and model piece of music may become a stumbling block in attempting to conquer the technical difficulties." Hardly. The technics of this composition do not lie beneath the surface. They are very much in the way of clumsy fingers and heavy wrists. Presto 88 to the half is the metronome indication in all five editions. Klindworth does not comment, but I like his fingering and phrasing best of all. Riemann repeats his trick of breaking a group, detaching a note ...
— Chopin: The Man and His Music • James Huneker

... and that there are such things in life as happy surprises, quite as well as disagreeable ones. Nothing, certainly, forced such people to fix their affections on the daughter of a "healer"; it would be very clumsy to pick her out of her generation only for the purpose of frustrating her. Moreover, her observation of their young host at Delmonico's and in the spacious box at the Academy of Music, where they had privacy and ease, and murmured words could pass without making neighbours ...
— The Bostonians, Vol. II (of II) • Henry James

... said an Oregonian to me, as we contemplated a company of squaws—"ugly is too mild a word to apply to such faces;" and he was right. Broad-faced, flat-nosed, small-eyed, unkempt, frowzy, undersized, thickset, clumsy, they have not a trace of beauty about them, either young or old. They are just useful, nothing more; and as you look at them and at the burdens they bear, you wonder whether, when the Woman's Rights movement ...
— Northern California, Oregon, and the Sandwich Islands • Charles Nordhoff

... shades were darkening the sculptured shores of Rozel Bay, where clumsy luggers lay far below, high and dry on the beach, behind the great masonry pier. Skiffs and fishing-boats lined the shores, and the soft breeze moved the foliage of the luxuriant garden. The white stars were peeping out and ...
— A Fascinating Traitor • Richard Henry Savage

... generally constructed upon wrong principles. The physician who sends to a mechanic for an appliance, such as are now made in the shops of most instrument makers, and uses the same, is doing himself an injustice, and barbarously torturing his patient by forcing him to wear an apparatus which is heavy, clumsy, and inevitably injurious, instead of being beneficial in its results. In the treatment of diseases and deformities of the spine, there should be no compromising; the appliance that fails to give complete support ...
— The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser in Plain English • R. V. Pierce

... of the rare occasions upon which a husband can be of some use to his wife. I sat up, and made a clumsy effort at ...
— The Right Stuff - Some Episodes in the Career of a North Briton • Ian Hay

... way aft over the rusty deck to the mustering of the port doctor. They were Chinese, with expressionless, Sphinx-like faces, and they walked in peculiar shambling fashion, dragging their feet as if the clumsy brogans were too heavy ...
— The Strength of the Strong • Jack London

... A light of humour showed itself through the tears that had come into her eyes. An amused, reluctant smile curved the corners of her mouth. "What, when I was an awkward, clumsy, ignorant schoolgirl, as I remember your calling me one day after I had done something exceptionally stupid? And when you played practical jokes upon me—hung my doll up by its hair, and made me believe ...
— Under False Pretences - A Novel • Adeline Sergeant

... her frank self-confidence, he had almost forgotten her position, and his own indirect relation to it. Then had come that unlucky note from Mellor; his grandfather's prompt reply to it; his own ineffective protest; and now this tongue-tiedness—this clumsy intrusion—which she must feel to ...
— Marcella • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... American shoe is the most symmetrical, comfortable, and satisfactory shoe made in the world. The British shoe is said to be more comfortable. Possibly for a British foot it is so, but for a foot containing no breathing-apparatus or viscera it is somewhat roomy and clumsy. ...
— Comic History of the United States • Bill Nye

... Gleason says. The tears came into her eyes; I understood her to say it was godlike. 'And only to think, doctor,'" he continued, with a clumsy, but unmistakable suggestion of Miss Gleason's perfervid manner, "'that such a girl should be dragged down by her own mother to the level of petty, every-day cares and duties, and should be blamed for the most beautiful act of self-sacrifice! ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... open door of the dining-room, but stood irresolute by the little work-table where trailed a white piece of calico, with a needle stuck in it, as if the work had been left hurriedly. The pink-crested cockatoo started, on his appearance, into clumsy activity and began to climb laboriously up and down his perch, calling "Joanna" with indistinct loudness and a persistent screech that prolonged the last syllable of the name as if in a peal of insane laughter. The screen in the doorway moved gently once ...
— An Outcast of the Islands • Joseph Conrad

... "Shirk," giving a partner to Allah, attending chiefly to Christians and idolaters and in a minor degree to Jews and Guebres. We usually English it by "polytheism," which is clumsy and conveys ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 2 • Richard F. Burton

... looked behind him, laughing at his own conceit, while he clambered up the partition, imitating, as he went, the clumsy motions of the beast he represented; but the instant the summit was gained he made a gesture for silence, and slid down ...
— The Last of the Mohicans • James Fenimore Cooper

... married." It was this lady who, by an inadvertent use of a term, showed what was passing in her mind in a way which must have been quite transparent to the bystanders. At a supper which she was giving, she was evidently much annoyed at the reckless and clumsy manner in which a gentleman was operating upon a ham which was at table, cutting out great lumps, and distributing them to the company. The lady said, in a very querulous tone, "Oh, Mr. Divot, will you help Mrs. So ...
— Reminiscences of Scottish Life and Character • Edward Bannerman Ramsay

... systems of computing planetary perturbations had been used, one by Leverrier, while the other was invented by Hansen. The former method was, in principle, of great simplicity, while the latter seemed to be very complex and even clumsy. I naturally supposed that the man who computed the direction of the planet Neptune before its existence was known, must be a master of the whole subject, and followed the lines he indicated. I gradually ...
— The Reminiscences of an Astronomer • Simon Newcomb

... his entire face. Through its round eye plates he looked at the others who crowded about him. Grotesque, almost ludicrous—twenty men, armed with clumsy sub-machine guns; the others would follow later. A searchlight was on a tripod at the center, and a ...
— Two Thousand Miles Below • Charles Willard Diffin

... departure for Washington I made arrangements, toward evening, to get from my hiding-place into the storeroom below. I found myself so stiff and clumsy that it was with great difficulty I could hitch from one resting place to another. When I reached the storeroom my ankles gave way under me, and I sank exhausted on the floor. It seemed as if I could never use my limbs again. But the purpose I ...
— Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl - Written by Herself • Harriet Jacobs (AKA Linda Brent)

... answering to his name, careful to keep his muddy feet off the visitor's trousers, grown up, obedient, following to heel round the garden, the faithful servant of his master? Or will he be the same old silly ass, no use to anybody, always dirty, always smiling, always in the way, a clumsy, blundering fool of a dog who knows you can't help ...
— Once a Week • Alan Alexander Milne

... incisively; "it's all perfectly clear, except the reason for doing it. But you know juries when it comes to women. If there was some definite thing—something to show. Something to make a story about. A thing that would connect up with this clumsy way of ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1917 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... intended warning came too late, our hero staggered back a few steps, and fell, stunned and motionless, against the stable door. Unconsciously he had passed just behind the heels of the stranger's horse, which being by no means in good humour with the clumsy manoeuvres of his shampooer, the hostler, had taken advantage of the opportunity presented to him of working off his irritability, and had consequently inflicted a severe kick upon the right shoulder of Mr. ...
— The Disowned, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... past his line of vision as he spun through the emptiness. Two or three little bits of the cord chipped off and drifted away. Tremont realized that it was frozen and brittle. He redoubled his efforts. After a few minutes of clumsy clicking of fingertips against thumbs, he strained ...
— Satellite System • Horace Brown Fyfe

... defaced pages once imagined to have been immortal! The most elegant compositions of classic Rome were converted into the psalms of a breviary, or the prayers of a missal. Livy and Tacitus "hide their diminished heads" to preserve the legend of a saint, and immortal truths were converted into clumsy fictions. It happened that the most voluminous authors were the greatest sufferers; these were preferred, because their volume being the greatest, most profitably repaid their destroying industry, and furnished ampler scope for future transcription. ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 1 (of 3) • Isaac D'Israeli

... thanks. I don't really need this contrivance; it's awfully clumsy; but Doc said I'd better wear ...
— Left Guard Gilbert • Ralph Henry Barbour

... oppressive heat, and his eyes ached with the glare as he gazed up the climbing track. The dust that rolled about the engine dimmed the glasses, the footplate rattled, and it looked as if his fireman was performing a clumsy dance. ...
— Brandon of the Engineers • Harold Bindloss

... Tomaso's brother changed its expression a bit, but he did not trouble to answer. Tomaso's brother knew far better than did Johnny all the rules of commerce. Johnny's clumsy attempt to depreciate what he wanted very much to buy merely convinced Tomaso's brother of the ...
— Skyrider • B. M. Bower

... far too clumsy though for driving. Try them on and see," and he tossed them through the door on to Eustace's bed, and went on with his unpacking. A minute later he heard a shrill cry of terror. "Oh, Lord," he heard, "it's in the glove! Quick, Saunders, ...
— Famous Modern Ghost Stories • Various

... were still savages who chased wolves and bears with clumsy stone axes, the Egyptians were writing books, performing intricate medical operations and teaching their children the ...
— Ancient Man - The Beginning of Civilizations • Hendrik Willem Van Loon

... crowned with Hanford Weston's love. Not at all. She knew, as well now as she ever had known, that he could never be anything to her, but she knew also, or thought she knew, that he could have given her something, in his clumsy way, that now she could never have from any man, seeing she was David's and David could not love her that way, ...
— Marcia Schuyler • Grace Livingston Hill Lutz

... room was a good scene for such a narrative, with the oak-wainscoting, quaint, and clumsy furniture, the heavy beams that crossed its ceiling, and the tall four-post bed, with dark curtains, within which you might imagine ...
— Madam Crowl's Ghost and The Dead Sexton • Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

... living was a sufficient reason for existence. And, when he returned, the village was a pile of cinders, smoking still; here and there were lying the dead and wounded; on one side he recognised a chubby boy with a great spear wound in his body; on another was a woman with her face blown away by some clumsy gun; and there a man in the agony of death, streaming with blood, lay heaped upon the ground in horrible disorder. And the rest of the inhabitants had been hurried away pellmell on the cruel journey across country, brutally treated and ...
— The Explorer • W. Somerset Maugham

... flat writing-case and the blue box No. 5, both in the library, be opened only by you. There are six of these blue boxes, which contain my letters and copies of letters, except those two clumsy quarto volumes, in which letter-press copies are pasted. They are somewhere in the library. The keys of the other five boxes ...
— Memoirs of Aaron Burr, Complete • Matthew L. Davis

... bobbed up in the stern-sheets, divided itself into exact halves with one flashing grin, and bobbed down again. The man of the tattered breeches, clad only in a Norfolk jacket and a gray flannel shirt, went on with his clumsy sewing, while Dick chuckled ...
— The Light That Failed • Rudyard Kipling

... resistance; and the laborer., by long practice, acquired a dexterity which enabled him to turn up the ground to the requisite depth with astonishing facility. This substitute for the plough was but a clumsy contrivance; yet it is curious as the only specimen of the kind among the American aborigines, and was perhaps not much inferior to the wooden instrument introduced in its stead by the European ...
— History Of The Conquest Of Peru • William Hickling Prescott

... a complicated apparatus with tubes in which oxygen and acetylene gas are used to melt through safes with a fierce heat—a quieter, less clumsy, and more effective method than ...
— Scotland Yard - The methods and organisation of the Metropolitan Police • George Dilnot

... hoe, most skilfully wielded. There are no wheelbarrows, but baskets are the universal substitutes. The plough is made entirely of wood, only pointed with iron, and is borne to and from the field on the shoulder. The carts are picturesque, but clumsy; they are made of wicker-work, and the iron-shod wheels are solidly attached to the axle, so that all revolves together, amid fearful creaking. The people could not be induced to use a cart with movable wheels which was imported from ...
— Atlantic Monthly Volume 6, No. 37, November, 1860 • Various

... went in again, Tom made more effort to follow the game and catch the ball; but he knew nothing of cricket, and was wearing his ordinary walking-boots. The grass was dry and slippery, and Tom was clumsy. He was chasing the ball, and thought he should really succeed in catching it this time, when his foot slipped and he fell heavily on the grass. He ...
— Golden Moments - Bright Stories for Young Folks • Anonymous

... A clumsy-looking fire-engine stood amidship, and the crew leaped to its pumps as directed, while the newcomer, catching up a line of hose, sprang to the rail and sent a powerful stream of water straight against the ...
— The Junior Classics • Various

... of mountains; elsewhere infinite space and blazing light. Our "tonga," its pair of wheels and its white awning rolling and jolting behind two good horses, passes long lines of bullock-carts. Indians, walking beside them with their inimitable gait, make exquisite gestures of abjection to the clumsy white Sahibs huddled uncomfortably on the back seat. Their robes of vivid colour, always harmoniously blent, leave bare the slender brown legs and often the breast and back. Children stark naked ride on their mothers' hips or their fathers' ...
— Appearances - Being Notes of Travel • Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson

... State, and the question of the State in general. His pamphlet may be divided into two parts: one, historico-literary, containing valuable material for the history of the ideas of Stirner, Proudhon, and others; the second, ignorant and narrow-minded, containing a clumsy disquisition on the theme 'that an anarchist cannot be distinguished from a bandit,' an amusing combination of subjects and most characteristic of the entire activity of Plechanoff on the eve of revolution and during the revolutionary period in Russia. Indeed, ...
— Anarchism and Socialism • George Plechanoff

... them to you," Ormskirk answered, "because I have seen through your cowardly and clumsy lie, and have only pity for a thing so base as you. I give them to you because to read one syllable of their contents would be to admit I had some ...
— Gallantry - Dizain des Fetes Galantes • James Branch Cabell

... and he even spilt three-fourths on the shoulders of a Rouen lady in short sleeves, who feeling the cold liquid running down to her loins, uttered cries like a peacock, as if she were being assassinated. Her husband, who was a millowner, railed at the clumsy fellow, and while she was with her handkerchief wiping up the stains from her handsome cherry-coloured taffeta gown, he angrily muttered about indemnity, costs, reimbursement. At last Charles reached his wife, saying to ...
— Madame Bovary • Gustave Flaubert

... concerning the superiority of his or her own plan of decoration, and precious lives were imperilled on the oldest and shakiest of step-ladders. The boys could naturally mount to the highest step without a fear, but, when mounted, were so clumsy and inartistic in their arrangements that they were called down with derisive cries, and retired to sulk in a corner. Then Bridgie lifted her skirt and gallantly ascended five steps, felt the boards sway beneath her, and scuttled down to make way for her sister. The daring rider across country possessed ...
— Pixie O'Shaughnessy • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... parliamentary, upon their characters and capacity, their habits and tempers. One was a good administrator, another did nothing; one had no detail, another too much; one was a screw, another a spendthrift; this man could make a set speech, but could not reply; his rival, capital at a reply but clumsy in a formal oration. ...
— Endymion • Benjamin Disraeli

... publicity! I do not mean that Europe has failed to adopt the telephone, nor that in Europe there are no hotels with the dreadful curse of an active telephone in every room. But I do mean that the European telephone is a toy, and a somewhat clumsy one, compared with the inexorable seriousness of the American telephone. Many otherwise highly civilized Europeans are as timid in addressing a telephone as they would be in addressing a royal sovereign. The average European middle-class ...
— Your United States - Impressions of a first visit • Arnold Bennett

... His own river! The ships of the world lay anchored in the harbour, the ships of all the world! The tender made its way upward against the rushing tide, and great, clumsy junks floated downstream. As they neared the dock, crowds of bobbing sampans, with square, painted eyes—so that they might see where they were going—came out and surrounded them. A miserable emotion overcame him. They ...
— Civilization - Tales of the Orient • Ellen Newbold La Motte

... is in good hands, I assure you. I met him out walking with his nurse; and I must say I never saw a handsomer couple. He is dark; she is fair. She is like the ancient statues of Venus, massive and grand, but not clumsy; he is lean and sinewy, as a man ought ...
— Put Yourself in His Place • Charles Reade

... there's a little girl fresh from the country, (you may know that) for her eyes are as bright as stars, and her cheeks look like June roses. She has a bunch of flowers in her hand, but they are no prettier than herself;—she is a perfect little rose-bud (if her shoes are clumsy and her bonnet old-fashioned.) If you'll excuse me I'll run down a ...
— Little Ferns For Fanny's Little Friends • Fanny Fern

... physician, returning from post-graduate work in Germany a few years later, to find that what had once been considered a sort of laughable weakness in him was called strength of character now; that what had been a clumsy boy's inarticulateness was more charitably construed into the silence of a clever man who will not waste his words; and that mothers whose sons he had once envied for their worldly wisdom were turning to him for advice as to the extrication of these ...
— The Heart of Rachael • Kathleen Norris

... worn by Nicobarese men, Man says: "From the clumsy mode in which this garment is worn by the Shom Pen—necessitating frequent readjustment of the folds—one is led to infer that its use is not de rigueur, but reserved for special occasions, as when receiving or visiting strangers." (E.H. Man, Journal of the Anthropological Institute, ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 1 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... says: "No machinery can be conceived more clumsy for effecting the deliverance of a distressed hero than the introduction of a mad woman, who, without knowing or caring about the wanderer, warns him by a song to take care of the ambush that was set for him. The maniacs or poetry have indeed ...
— The Lady of the Lake • Sir Walter Scott

... like a clumsy puppy, but I could see his pride in my omniscience. "She is smarter than ...
— Montlivet • Alice Prescott Smith

... the outer faces, marked the spot to which offerings were to be brought for the dead; sometimes, however, there was the addition of a square vestibule in front of the tomb, and here, on prescribed days, the memorial ceremonies took place. The statues of the double were rude and clumsy, the coffins heavy and massive, and the figures with which they were decorated inelegant and out of proportion, while the stelae are very rudely cut. From the time of the VIth dynasty the lords of the Said had been reduced to employing workmen from Memphis to adorn their monuments; but the rivalry ...
— History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 2 (of 12) • G. Maspero

... with verderers and falconers attendant. The dusty highway, that led across the plain to the frowning gates of Belsaye, was a-throng with country folk trudging on foot or seated in heavy carts whose clumsy wheels creaked and groaned city-wards; for though the sun was far declined, it was market-day: moreover a man was to die by the fire, and though such sights were a-plenty, yet 'twas seldom that any lord, seneschal, ...
— Beltane The Smith • Jeffery Farnol

... too. He took her into his bed and played with her, and in playing he forgot his grief. A little before seven he got up and dressed. He washed Dossie and dressed her as well as he could, with tender, clumsy fingers that fumbled over all her little strings and buttons. Pain, and pleasure poignant as pain, thrilled him with every soft contact with her darling body. He tried to brush her hair as Winny brushed it, all in ducks' tails and ...
— The Combined Maze • May Sinclair

... returned. "Water!" wails the first fat baby. "Water!" wails the second. You get water, give it, pat both fat babies till they go to sleep, and then cautiously retire. It would be a pity if all the babies were to waken thirsty and kick each other. At the door you turn and look back. Graceful babies, clumsy babies, babies who lie extended like young pokers, babies curled like kittens. All sorts of babies, good, bad, and middling, but ...
— Lotus Buds • Amy Carmichael

... the house of the "Marine Monster," Don Leonardo Mata, before crossing the bar, took up our shells, and had the felicity of making his acquaintance. He is a colossal old man, almost gigantic in height, and a Falstaff in breadth—gruff in his manners, yet with a certain clumsy good-nature about him. He performs the office of pilot with so much exclusiveness, charging such high prices, governing the men with so iron a sway, and arranging everything so entirely according to his own fancy, ...
— Life in Mexico • Frances Calderon De La Barca

... repetition of one fundamental air under certain arbitrary variations. As the matter shown was always much the same, the interest had to depend chiefly on the manner of showing it; and this naturally generated a cumbrous and clumsy excess of manner; unless indeed the thing drew beyond itself; while in doing this it could scarce fail to create a taste that would sooner or later force it to withdraw from ...
— Shakespeare: His Life, Art, And Characters, Volume I. • H. N. Hudson

... had been green, and was faded to yellow, tight buff trousers too short to cover his ankles, and dusty, and glossy from long use, a pair of clumsy blucher boots, and a hat worthy of a place in the cabinet of an antiquary. His face was tanned a deep brown, and a pair of brass-rimmed spectacles covered ...
— France in the Nineteenth Century • Elizabeth Latimer

... certain that Harry must be struck and killed by the sharp prow of the somewhat clumsy craft. But in that time of extreme peril Jerry had whipped up like a flash on his skates, caught Harry by the collar, and literally flung himself and the boy, who was then almost a stranger to ...
— The Young Oarsmen of Lakeview • Ralph Bonehill



Words linked to "Clumsy" :   clumsiness, unmanageable, infelicitous, unskilled



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