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.

Nearby words

  1. embark,
  2. embarkation,
  3. embarkment,
  4. embarras,
  5. embarras de richesses,
  6. embarrassed,
  7. embarrassing,
  8. embarrassment,
  9. embarrassment of riches,
  10. embassador

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.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for embarrassed


British Dictionary definitions for embarrassed

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

Word Origin and History for embarrassed
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper