Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms.


1. Lacking dexterity or skill; clumsy.
2. Lacking social grace or tact.
3. Having unusually large hands.

ham′-hand′ed·ly adv.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


clumsy, inept, or heavy-handed: a ham-handed apology.
ham′-hand`ed•ness, n.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.ham-handed - lacking physical movement skills, especially with the hands; "a bumbling mechanic"; "a bungling performance"; "ham-handed governmental interference"; "could scarcely empty a scuttle of ashes, so handless was the poor creature"- Mary H. Vorse
maladroit - not adroit; "a maladroit movement of his hand caused the car to swerve"; "a maladroit translation"; "maladroit propaganda"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
It is about time that these entities realized that their ham-handed 'efforts' have had the effect of diluting the Kashmir cause rather than bolstering it.
It is also true that the country is not united enough to resist any outside threats, because the government has alienated the opposition in its ham-handed attempts at accountability.
"The pace has been slow and a bit ham-handed at times, but at this point there is no more argument from them to keep this material up," she added.
Trump's ham-handed 'coercive diplomacy' of sanctions against Iran and its Supreme Leader personally is flawed.
Give Trump credit for one thing: His ham-handed, bigoted approach to immigration at the southern border has focused national attention on the issue.
Of all the ways that the United States could have dealt with the ongoing security concerns over Huawei, last week's blacklisting was probably the most ham-handed, disruptive solution imaginable.
If one were to attempt to single out one factor largely responsible for plunging several states (including the Land of the Pure) into unenviable predicaments, one would not be far off the mark if one were to point the finger at their ham-handed attempts at upending priorities in respect of ethics and expediency, as set out in the previous paragraph.
In that Indian State, in the 1960s, a separatist Dravidian movement had been set in motion, mainly due to the Indian government's ham-handed attempt to force Hindi down the throats of Tamilians, who were proud of their own language.
That relationship, more than ham-handed historical fiction, is what makes the movie watchable.
Chalk up his false claims, then, as part of a ham-handed campaign to discredit the current Constitution, a campaign which fortunately has yet to gain traction among the public.
While one is not surprised, though very concerned of course, of Indian insensitivities, it is the ham-handed nature of Nepali policy decisions in as sensitive a matter as national security that is alarming.
'It is also highly regrettable that Aaqib has been summoned, out of station, at a very short notice, without giving a damn to how he manages to do it,' statement said, adding: 'The NIA's ham-handed approach towards journalism has earlier also been exposed in its detention of the Kashmiri photojournalist Kamran Yousuf, last year, in whose case, the NIA even tried to define journalism by its own skewed standards.'