"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[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
  • Even the police seem a bit abashed by the whole thing.
  • The abashed worker returned the traditional gesture.
  • My guest ate heartily but seemed abashed and defensive.
  • They are rarely shy about their accomplishments or abashed about their patriotism.
  • We're talking about doing this, and about reading the original series in the first place, with a sense of abashed irony.
  • They all clear off, including the abashed groom, who gives up without a fight.
  • They came over to me looking abashed and wagging their tails.
  • The secretary returned after more than half an hour, abashed, apologetic.
  • Jerry was not nt all abashed by the warmth of his reception.
  • The summer colonist in no wise abashed, accepted the situation and went on with his pleading.
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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