verb (used with object)
to cause confusion and shame to; make uncomfortably self-conscious; disconcert; abash: His bad table manners embarrassed her.
to make difficult or intricate, as a question or problem; complicate.
to put obstacles or difficulties in the way of; impede: The motion was advanced in order to embarrass the progress of the bill.
to beset with financial difficulties; burden with debt: The decline in sales embarrassed the company.
verb (used without object)
to become disconcerted, abashed, or confused.

1665–75; < French embarrasser < Spanish embarazar < Portuguese embaraçar, equivalent to em- em-1 + -baraçar, verbal derivative of baraço, baraça cord, strap, noose (of obscure origin)

embarrassedly [em-bar-uhst-lee, -uh-sid-lee] , adverb
embarrassingly, adverb
preembarrass, verb (used with object)
unembarrassed, adjective

1. discompose, discomfit, chagrin. See confuse. 3. hamper, hinder.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To embarrass
World English Dictionary
embarrass (ɪmˈbærəs)
1.  (also intr) to feel or cause to feel confusion or self-consciousness; disconcert; fluster
2.  (usually passive) to involve in financial difficulties
3.  archaic to make difficult; complicate
4.  archaic to impede; obstruct; hamper
[C17: (in the sense: to impede): via French and Spanish from Italian imbarrazzare, from imbarrare to confine within bars; see en-1, bar1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

1670s, "perplex, throw into doubt," from Fr. embarrasser, lit. "to block," from embarras "obstacle," from It. imbarrazzo, from imbarrare "to bar," from in- "into, upon" + V.L. *barra "bar." Meaning "make (someone) feel awkward" first recorded 1828. Original sense preserved in embarras de richesse (1751),
from French (1726), the condition of having more wealth than one knows what to do with. Related: Embarrassing.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
My agent was worried I was about to embarrass myself.
It was as if the prosecution had set out to embarrass its own witness.
If you don't want to embarrass yourself, don't send embarrassing emails.
It is just not in my nature to discipline or embarrass students in front of
  other students.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature