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[uh-basht] /əˈbæʃt/
ashamed or embarrassed; disconcerted:
My clumsiness left me abashed.
Origin of abashed
1300-50; Middle English; see abash, -ed2
Related forms
[uh-bash-id-lee] /əˈbæʃ ɪd li/ (Show IPA),
abashedness, noun
unabashed, adjective


[uh-bash] /əˈbæʃ/
verb (used with object)
to destroy the self-confidence, poise, or self-possession of; disconcert; make ashamed or embarrassed:
to abash someone by sneering.
1275-1325; Middle English abaishen < dialectal Old French abacher, Old French abaissier to put down, bring low (see abase), perhaps conflated with Anglo-French abaiss-, long stem of abair, Old French esba(h)ir to gape, marvel, amaze (es- ex-1 + -ba(h)ir, alteration of baer to open wide, gape < Vulgar Latin *batāre; cf. bay2, bay3)
Related forms
abashment, noun
shame, discompose, embarrass. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for abashed
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I stood before her abashed, and that was ridiculous, while she measured me as if I presented in myself the woman I took her to be.

    The Pool in the Desert Sara Jeanette Duncan
  • Let ridicule be abashed before the majesty of such characters!

  • He was a man of few words, naturally diffident of his colloquial powers, and easily confused and abashed.

    Mark Hurdlestone Susanna Moodie
  • It humbled and abashed the man, and made him still more irresolute and uncertain.

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
  • She laid an abashed cheek on his hands that were still fondling hers.

    In the Heart of a Fool William Allen White
  • It was a situation which might have abashed a bolder ruffian.

    The Avenger E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • Fondling the trembling creature against her cheek, she talked first to him, then to his abashed persecutors.

    Maida's Little Shop Inez Haynes Irwin
  • The ruler of Tripoli was abashed by this display of American energy and valor.

  • The strong double light revealed her face of abashed delight, although the young man did not understand it.

    The Portion of Labor Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
British Dictionary definitions for abashed


ill at ease, embarrassed, or confused; ashamed
Derived Forms
abashedly, noun


(transitive; usually passive) to cause to feel ill at ease, embarrassed, or confused; make ashamed
Derived Forms
abashment, noun
Word Origin
C14: via Norman French from Old French esbair to be astonished, from es- out + bair to gape, yawn
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for abashed



"perplex, embarrass," early 15c., earlier "lose one's composure, be upset" (late 14c.), from Old French esbaiss-, present stem of esbaer "gape with astonishment," from es "out" (see ex-) + ba(y)er "to be open, gape," from Latin *batare "to yawn, gape," from root *bat, possibly imitative of yawning. Related: Abashed; abashing. Bashful is a 16c. derivative.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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