embarrass

[ em-bar-uhs ]
/ 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 formsem·bar·rassed·ly [em-bar-uhst-lee, -uh-sid-lee] /ɛmˈbær əst li, -ə sɪd li/, adverbem·bar·rass·ing·ly, adverbpre·em·bar·rass, verb (used with object)un·em·bar·rassed, adjective

Synonym study

1. See confuse.

Definition for embarrass (2 of 2)

Embarras

or Em·barrass

[ am-braw ]
/ ˈæm brɔ /

noun

a river in E Illinois, flowing S and SE to the Wabash River. 185 miles (298 km) long.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for embarrass

British Dictionary definitions for embarrass

embarrass

/ (ɪmˈbærəs) /

verb (mainly tr)

(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
Derived Formsembarrassed, adjectiveembarrassedly, adverb

Word Origin for embarrass

C17: (in the sense: to impede): via French and Spanish from Italian imbarrazzare, from imbarrare to confine within bars; see en- 1, bar 1
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