Simple Definition of embarrass
: to make (someone) feel confused and foolish in front of other people
: to make (a person, group, government, etc.) look foolish in public
Full Definition of embarrass
3 : to make intricate : complicate
4 : to impair the activity of (a bodily function) or the function of (a bodily part) <digestion embarrassed by overeating>
: to become anxiously self-conscious <he embarrasses easily>
Examples of embarrass in a sentence
Every block billboard, bus stop, or phone booth has his bigger-than-life puss plastered on it, hyping his new movie Me, Myself & Irene. “Look at me. God, I'm everywhere!” [Jim] Carrey actually seems slightly weirded out and embarrassed by his omnipresence. —Josh Wolk, Entertainment Weekly, 23 June 2000
They started holding me and kicking me and triple-teaming me. They'd do anything so I wouldn't dunk on 'em. It was so embarrassing for them. —Shaquille O'Neal, Rolling Stone, 25, Nov. 1993
Unexpected laughter embarrassed the speaker.
She's worried about embarrassing herself in front of such a large audience.
I would never do anything to embarrass my family.
The protest was staged as a deliberate attempt to embarrass the government.
Did You Know?
If you've ever been so embarrassed that you felt like you were caught up in a noose of shame you may have some insight into the origins of the word embarrass. The word can be traced back through French and Spanish to the Portuguese word embaraçar, which was itself probably formed as a combination of the prefix em- (from Latin in-) and "baraça," the Portuguese word for "noose." Though "embarrass" has had various meanings throughout its history in English, these days it most often implies making someone feel or look foolish.
Origin of embarrass
French embarrasser, from Spanish embarazar, from Portuguese embaraçar, from em- (from Latin in-) + baraça noose
First Known Use: 1672
Synonym Discussion of embarrass
Rhymes with embarrass
EMBARRASS Defined for Kids
Definition of embarrass for Students
: to cause to feel confused and foolish in front of other people <Having to dismount to turn the bicycle around was embarrassing … — Beverly Cleary, Ramona Quimby>
Medical Definition of embarrass
: to impair the activity of (a bodily function) or the function of (a bodily part) <digestion embarrassed by overeating>
Seen and Heard
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