- 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.
- to become disconcerted, abashed, or confused.
Origin of embarrass
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for embarrassingly
And survey after survey proves an embarrassingly high percentage of Americans are largely ignorant of how our government works.Baseball’s Problem Is Politics’ Problem
November 4, 2014
By then the Nazis had already annexed large swathes of Europe, and Britain was embarrassingly unprepared for war.Putin's Useful (British) Idiots
August 15, 2014
Many of the reasons these women claim for not needing feminism are embarrassingly bad.You Don’t Hate Feminism. You Just Don’t Understand It.
July 24, 2014
And the diversity in the newsroom has been stuck at an embarrassingly low 12-13% for almost a decade.‘SNL’ Gets What the Rest of TV Should: Racial Diversity Means Quality
January 7, 2014
All of this was unsurprising: the terrifically wealthy singer is both notoriously prickly and embarrassingly tight-fisted.Bigmouth Strikes Again: Smiths Bassist Andy Rourke Tells All
October 13, 2013
The expression "Early Victorian," however, is embarrassingly circumscribed in its meaning.A Likely Story
William De Morgan
"Better a Bedouin in the trackless desert than a man who is forever running the gauntlet at such a risk," he said embarrassingly.The Broken Sword
So prolonged was this stare that Blake began to be embarrassingly conscious of it, to fidget under it.The Shadow
Still, it was miraculously the twin of the place we had described in our embarrassingly perfect "ad."The Brightener
C. N. Williamson
Yet even with these deductions the amount of material is embarrassingly rich.Mr. Punch's History of Modern England, Vol. I (of 4).--1841-1857
Charles L. Graves
- (also intr) 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
Word Origin and History for embarrassingly
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.