- 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
- a river in E Illinois, flowing S and SE to the Wabash River. 185 miles (298 km) long.
Examples from the Web for embarrasses
"Girls, if you only knew how terribly this embarrasses me," pleaded Grace.Grace Harlowe's Return to Overton Campus
Jessie Graham Flower
But, don't talk any more just now in that way, because it embarrasses me.A Comedy of Marriage and Other Tales
Guy De Maupassant
It embarrasses her in school, in spite of her teaching only girls in a private institution.Psychotherapy
Our adversaries have adopted a system of tactics, which embarrasses us not a little.Sophisms of the Protectionists
He embarrasses us, as sleeker individuals of the herd and hive.Child and Country
Will Levington Comfort
- (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 embarrasses
1660s, from French embarras "obstacle;" see embarrass.
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.