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[em-bar-uh s] /ɛmˈbær əs/
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.
Origin of embarrass
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
[em-bar-uh st-lee, -uh-sid-lee] /ɛmˈbær əst li, -ə sɪd li/ (Show IPA),
embarrassingly, adverb
preembarrass, verb (used with object)
unembarrassed, adjective
1. discompose, discomfit, chagrin. See confuse. 3. hamper, hinder. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for unembarrassed
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Surely with a little goodwill and unembarrassed by the assistance of experts, lawyers, and wigs generally, we can settle that!

    The Great Adventure Arnold Bennett
  • And she laughed her delicious, unembarrassed laugh of a child.

    Athalie Robert W. Chambers
  • And so she began now, unembarrassed as a child, a long examination all about her husband.

    Titan: A Romance v. 1 (of 2) Jean Paul Friedrich Richter
  • The chief was unembarrassed, dignified, and courtly in his address.

  • The secretary entered the drawing-room with the unembarrassed step of a somnambulist.

    Eden Edgar Saltus
  • The girl was young, good-looking, unembarrassed, very much at home.

    The Paliser case Edgar Saltus
  • But the Prince's face was a picture of unembarrassed pleasure.

    Sophy of Kravonia Anthony Hope
British Dictionary definitions for unembarrassed


not embarrassed, disconcerted, or flustered


verb (mainly transitive)
(also intransitive) to feel or cause to feel confusion or self-consciousness; disconcert; fluster
(usually passive) to involve in financial difficulties
(archaic) to make difficult; complicate
(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
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Word Origin and History for unembarrassed



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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