} } Embarrassing | Define Embarrassing at Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

How Well Do You Know English Slang?

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 embarrassing
  • There was a time when embarrassing talents were a purely private matter.
  • Her way of confiding in me is embarrassing and almost painful.
  • It may also be a little embarrassing to win such mainstream acceptance.
  • Unfortunately, his notoriety is for one of the most embarrassing moments in his life.
  • Furthermore, her book contains embarrassing factual errors.
  • Emma's mother insists on doing terrible, awful, embarrassing things.
  • The situation was, in truth, embarrassing.
  • The administration had indeed a most embarrassing problem to solve.
  • He would not approach girls for fear of embarrassing himself.
  • They might also have overheard embarrassing conversations.
British Dictionary definitions for embarrassing

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

embarrassing

/ɪmˈbærəsɪŋ/
adjective
1.
causing one to feel confusion or self-consciousness; disconcerting
Derived Forms
embarrassingly, adverb
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 embarrassing

embarrass

v.

1670s, "perplex, throw into doubt," from French embarrasser (16c.), literally "to block," from embarras "obstacle," from Italian imbarrazzo, from imbarrare "to bar," from in- "into, upon" (see in- (2)) + Vulgar Latin *barra "bar."

Meaning "hamper, hinder" is from 1680s. 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: Embarrassed; embarrassing; embarrassingly.

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 embarrassing

17
21
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with embarrassing