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embarrassment

[em-bar-uh s-muh nt] /ɛmˈbær əs mənt/
noun
1.
the state of being embarrassed; disconcertment; abashment.
2.
an act or instance of embarrassing.
3.
something that embarrasses.
4.
an overwhelmingly excessive amount; overabundance:
an embarrassment of riches.
5.
the state of being in financial difficulties.
6.
Medicine/Medical. impairment of functioning associated with disease:
respiratory embarrassment.
Origin of embarrassment
1670-1680
1670-80; < French embarrassement. See embarrass, -ment
Related forms
preembarrassment, noun
Synonyms
1. discomposure. See shame.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for embarrassment
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The embarrassment was because of her inability to extend to us the hospitality she desired.

    Romantic Spain John Augustus O'Shea
  • "No, not yet," Mary admitted, without sign of embarrassment.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • It was not till now that he felt the embarrassment of such an arrival.

    The Fruit of the Tree Edith Wharton
  • His embarrassment, or ugliness of temper, or whatever it was, was gone.

    The Underdog F. Hopkinson Smith
  • David by this time has grown scarlet with embarrassment and confusion.

    Mrs. Warren's Daughter Sir Harry Johnston
British Dictionary definitions for embarrassment

embarrassment

/ɪmˈbærəsmənt/
noun
1.
the state of being embarrassed
2.
something that embarrasses
3.
a financial predicament
4.
an excessive amount; superfluity
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 embarrassment
n.

1670s, "state of being impeded, obstructed, entangled" (of affairs, etc.), from embarrass + -ment, or from French embarrassement, from embarrasser.

As "a mental state of unease," from 1774. Meaning "thing which embarrasses" is from 1729. Earlier words expressing much the same idea include baishment "embarrassment, confusion" (late 14c.); baishednesse (mid-15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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