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abash

play
verb \ə-ˈbash\

Definition of abash

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to destroy the self-possession or self-confidence of :  disconcert

abash·mentplay \-mənt\ noun


Examples of abash

  1. <felt terribly abashed when she walked into the wrong hotel room>



Origin of abash

Middle English abaishen, from Anglo-French abaiss-, abair to astonish, alteration of esbair, from ex- + baer to open wide, gape — more at abeyance


First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of abash

embarrass, discomfit, abash, disconcert, rattle mean to distress by confusing or confounding. embarrass implies some influence that impedes thought, speech, or action <embarrassed to admit that she liked the movie>. discomfit implies a hampering or frustrating accompanied by confusion <hecklers discomfited the speaker>. abash presupposes some initial self-confidence that receives a sudden check, producing shyness, shame, or a feeling of inferiority <abashed by her swift and cutting retort>. disconcert implies an upsetting of equanimity or assurance producing uncertainty or hesitancy <disconcerted by finding so many in attendance>. rattle implies an agitation that impairs thought and judgment <rattled by all the television cameras>.


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