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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.
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British Dictionary definitions for pre-embarrass

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
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Word Origin and History for pre-embarrass

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
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