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  1. ashamed or embarrassed; disconcerted: My clumsiness left me abashed.
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Origin of abashed

Middle English word dating back to 1300–50; see origin at abash, -ed2
Related formsa·bash·ed·ly [uh-bash-id-lee] /əˈbæʃ ɪd li/, adverba·bash·ed·ness, nounun·a·bashed, adjective


verb (used with object)
  1. to destroy the self-confidence, poise, or self-possession of; disconcert; make ashamed or embarrassed: to abash someone by sneering.
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Origin of abash

1275–1325; Middle English abaishen < dialectal Old French abacher, Old French abaissier to put down, bring low (see abase), perhaps conflated with Anglo-French abaiss-, long stem of abair, Old French esba(h)ir to gape, marvel, amaze (es- ex-1 + -ba(h)ir, alteration of baer to open wide, gape < Vulgar Latin *batāre; cf. bay2, bay3)
Related formsa·bash·ment, noun


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for abashed


  1. ill at ease, embarrassed, or confused; ashamed
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Derived Formsabashedly, noun


  1. (tr; usually passive) to cause to feel ill at ease, embarrassed, or confused; make ashamed
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Derived Formsabashment, noun

Word Origin

C14: via Norman French from Old French esbair to be astonished, from es- out + bair to gape, yawn
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

Word Origin and History for abashed



"perplex, embarrass," early 15c., earlier "lose one's composure, be upset" (late 14c.), from Old French esbaiss-, present stem of esbaer "gape with astonishment," from es "out" (see ex-) + ba(y)er "to be open, gape," from Latin *batare "to yawn, gape," from root *bat, possibly imitative of yawning. Related: Abashed; abashing. Bashful is a 16c. derivative.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper