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abash

[uh-bash]
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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

Synonyms

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

Examples from the Web for abashment

Historical Examples

  • Crimsoning, Alrek fell from his hill of scorn to the valley of abashment.

    The Vinland Champions

    Ottilie A. Liljencrantz

  • As soon as Ned and I could recover from our abashment, we also said good morning.

    Phaeton Rogers

    Rossiter Johnson

  • If abashed at heart, at least the world should be uninformed of that abashment.

  • The big fellow, his head hung in abashment, looked up pleadingly.

  • He dropped the hand that had been lightly resting on her arm, and his dapper air of self-confidence wilted in abashment.

    Kilo

    Ellis Parker Butler


British Dictionary definitions for abashment

abash

verb
  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 abashment

abash

v.

"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