follow Dictionary.com

Get the details behind our redesign

embarrass

[em-bar-uh s] /ɛmˈbær əs/
verb (used with object)
1.
to cause confusion and shame to; make uncomfortably self-conscious; disconcert; abash:
His bad table manners embarrassed her.
2.
to make difficult or intricate, as a question or problem; complicate.
3.
to put obstacles or difficulties in the way of; impede:
The motion was advanced in order to embarrass the progress of the bill.
4.
to beset with financial difficulties; burden with debt:
The decline in sales embarrassed the company.
verb (used without object)
5.
to become disconcerted, abashed, or confused.
Origin
1665-1675
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)
Related forms
embarrassedly
[em-bar-uh st-lee, -uh-sid-lee] /ɛmˈbær əst li, -ə sɪd li/ (Show IPA),
adverb
embarrassingly, adverb
preembarrass, verb (used with object)
unembarrassed, adjective
Synonyms
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
Examples for embarrassed
  • The defense was embarrassed.
  • If you are fortunate enough to live as long as I have, one day you will be embarrassed by your naivety.
  • Frazzled and embarrassed, we relaunched, thinking we'd find peace on the water.
  • He was more shocked and embarrassed than anyone over his behavior.
  • If you weren't embarrassed before, you should be now.
  • The embarrassed fashion press, wishing it could forget the whole thing, stopped giving interviews to the non-fashion press.
  • Every time you post something in these forums I feel embarrassed for you.
  • Apparently, the creator's children are embarrassed by his work.
  • He was in no way embarrassed by the utterly farcical scene he was creating.
  • Even with some caution, I suppose we are all doomed to be embarrassed by the fashion debacles of previous decades.
British Dictionary definitions for embarrassed

embarrass

/ɪmˈbærəs/
verb (mainly transitive)
1.
(also intransitive) 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
Derived Forms
embarrassed, adjective
embarrassedly, adverb
Word Origin
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 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for embarrassed
embarrass
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.
embarrassed
"perplexed, confused," 1680s, from embarrass.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for embarrass

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for embarrassed

16
18
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with embarrassed