verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- embarras de richesses,
- embarrassment of riches,
Origin of embarrass
Examples from the Web for embarrassing
The crowds booed and jeered as the embarrassing scene played out in front of them.
Think of the embarrassing subway platform or mid-office “adjustment” debacles you could avoid!Would You Pay $100 For a 50 Cent Bulge? Men’s Undies Get Expensive|James Joiner|December 23, 2014|DAILY BEAST
And with that great hope and excitement comes crippling, embarrassing disappointment.The Biggest Bombs of 2014: ‘Sex Tape,’ Mariah Carey’s Vocals, ‘How I Met Your Mother’ and More|Kevin Fallon|December 19, 2014|DAILY BEAST
But until voters demand it, politicians will continue to ignore an embarrassing system.Why Isn’t Prison Justice on the Ballot This Tuesday?|Inimai Chettiar, Abigail Finkelman|November 1, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Everyone, of course, was too polite to inquire about the embarrassing number of absentees.There’s Only One Way to Beat ISIS: Work With Assad and Iran|Leslie H. Gelb|October 18, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Then Mrs. Dunn bethought herself of a way to make their exit less awkward and embarrassing.Cap'n Warren's Wards|Joseph C. Lincoln
The situation was most unusual and in some ways most embarrassing, also.Army Letters from an Officer's Wife, 1871-1888|Frances M.A. Roe
Again there was a pause—a decidedly unpleasant and embarrassing silence.George Cruikshank's Omnibus|George Cruikshank
There he sat, and the conversation progressed in jerks and spirts, between pauses of embarrassing silence.The Story Of Kennett|Bayard Taylor
He snatched it without a word, and ate it ravenously, keeping his eye fixed upon me in the most embarrassing way.Dead Man's Rock|Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
verb (mainly tr)
Word Origin for 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.