“Whereas Charles was skilled in crafting paper airplanes, Jamie seemed rather maladroit.”

According to the sentence above, what is the best definition of maladroit?

Check your answer!

Choice A - Inept or lacking in expertise
Choice B - Adept or highly skilled
Choice C - Putting in a great deal of effort
Choice D - Showing little effort or enthusiasm


Maladroit (adjective) – inept or ill-equipped; lacking in skills or talent

Maladroit (noun) – someone who is not adroit; someone without skill or talent

GRE pro tips:

It is easiest to learn and understand the words adroit and maladroit in conjunction with one another. Adroit comes from the French a droit, meaning “right” or “properly.” Someone who is adroit can do it right – they may be highly skilled with their hands (for instance, adroit in a craft or sport) or with their mind (for instance, adroit in arithmetic or even deceit). Because the root word mal means “bad” or “ill,” it makes sense that  someone who is maladroit has difficulty doing things right – they may be awkward or clumsy in a craft or sport, or else graceless in thought and speech.

Example sentences:

“The cartoon is based on a maladroit detective who is incapable of solving cases without the help of his intelligent dog”

“Our new supervisor is deft in matters in which his predecessor was maladroit.”