Lacking social grace, tact, or good manners


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



awkward, bumbling, clumsy, inelegant, uncivil


graceful, refined, polished, sophisticated

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun gauchenesses, gaucheness
Verb None
Adjective gauche
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • Her gauche attempt at small talk left an awkward silence hanging in the room.

  • The politician’s gauche remark during the press conference offended many in the audience.

  • His gauche table manners, like chewing with his mouth open, made dining with him uncomfortable.

  • The team’s celebration turned gauche when one player accidentally spilled wine on the host’s expensive carpet.


The word “gauche” is an adjective used to describe someone’s behavior or mannerisms as awkward, clumsy, or lacking in social grace. Its origin can be traced back to the French word “gauchir,” meaning “to turn or go the wrong way.” The term “gauche” entered the English language in the mid-19th century, borrowing from the French language.

The usage of “gauche” pertains to individuals who exhibit social awkwardness or a lack of finesse in their interactions. It suggests a lack of tact, poise, or understanding of social norms. Those described as gauche may have difficulty navigating social situations, often inadvertently offending or embarrassing others. The word can be applied to both physical and verbal behaviors, and may indicate a lack of confidence or poise. A person or thing that is described as “gauche” may be seen as being socially inexperienced or inexperienced in a particular setting, and may be viewed as being out of place or inappropriate. In some contexts, the term may be used more broadly to describe anything that lacks social grace, tact, or good manners.

The word “gauche” does not have any specific prefix, suffix, or root, as it is borrowed directly from the French language. It stands alone as a concise and evocative term to describe the awkward or tactless behavior of an individual.

Understanding the history and usage of “gauche” reminds us of the importance of social awareness and sensitivity in our interactions with others. It serves as a reminder to be mindful of our actions and considerate of how they may be perceived by those around us. Developing social skills, empathy, and cultural understanding can help mitigate gauche behavior and foster more harmonious relationships.