awkward silence


      • uncomfortable pause
        Describing a moment of silence in a social situation that feels uncomfortable or embarrassing

      • lack of communication
        Referring to a situation where there is a lack of communication or conversation, leading to an uncomfortable atmosphere

    Examples of awkward silence

    • During the job interview, the candidate's responses were so unimpressive that an awkward silence descended upon the room.

      This example demonstrates the use of the idiom "awkward silence" in a sentence to describe a situation where there was an uncomfortable and prolonged period of quietness due to lack of verbal communication between the interviewer and the candidate.

    • After the argument, he stormed out of the room leaving an awkward silence in his wake.

      This example shows the idiom being used to describe the aftermath of an argument when the silence that follows is tense and uneasy.

    • At the dinner party, the conversation suddenly came to a halt, and an awkward silence enveloped the table.

      In this example, the idiom is used to explain the sudden stillness that often occurs in social settings when people have run out of things to say and the silence becomes awkward and uncomfortable.

    • The radio station accidentally played the wrong song, and an awkward silence filled the airwaves for a few seconds until they landed on the right track.

      This example demonstrates the use of the idiom in a less traditional setting to describe a brief period of silence caused by a mistake or unintended event.

    • After the teacher's scolding, the classroom was filled with awkward silence as the students hesitated to speak.

      In this example, the idiom "awkward silence" is being used to describe a period of time where there is a lack of communication or noise in a situation that feels uncomfortable or tense.

    • During the job interview, the applicant stumbled over their words and a quiet stillness filled the room as the interviewer waited for a response.

      Here, the idiom is used to highlight the awkwardness of a situation in which communication has broken down or is strained, creating an uncomfortable silence.

    • The date had gone horribly wrong, and as the couple sat across from one another, an uneasy silence hung heavy in the air.

      This example demonstrates how the idiom can be utilized to depict a situation where two individuals feel discomfort and are unable to communicate effectively.

    • The presentation went smoothly until the power point suddenly malfunctioned, causing a long and awkward silence to consume the room.

      Here, the idiom is used to describe the effect of an unexpected interruption or mishap, as it disrupts normal communication and creates a sense of discomfort or unease.


    The idiom "awkward silence" is commonly used to describe a moment of discomfort or embarrassment due to a pause in conversation. It can also refer to a lack of communication leading to an uncomfortable atmosphere. This idiom is often used in social settings to express discomfort or unease during a quiet period.

    Origin of "awkward silence"

    The origin of the idiom "awkward silence" can be traced back to the late 18th century. The word "awkward" has been used to describe discomfort or unease, while "silence" refers to the absence of sound or communication. The combination of these words reflects the feeling of discomfort that arises from a lack of conversation or an uncomfortable pause in social interactions.

    One of the earliest recorded uses of the phrase can be found in literature and plays from the 18th and 19th centuries, where authors and playwrights used it to depict moments of discomfort or embarrassment. Over time, the idiom became a commonly used expression to describe similar situations in everyday conversations. Today, "awkward silence" is a widely recognized idiom that effectively conveys the feeling of discomfort in social interactions.