verb em·bar·rass \im-ˈber-əs, -ˈba-rəs\

: 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

transitive verb
a :  to place in doubt, perplexity, or difficulties
b :  to involve in financial difficulties
c :  to cause to experience a state of self-conscious distress <bawdy stories embarrassed him>
a :  to hamper the movement of
b :  hinder, impede
:  to make intricate :  complicate
:  to impair the activity of (a bodily function) or the function of (a bodily part) <digestion embarrassed by overeating>
intransitive verb
:  to become anxiously self-conscious <he embarrasses easily>
em·bar·rass·able \-ə-sə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of EMBARRASS

  1. Unexpected laughter embarrassed the speaker.
  2. She's worried about embarrassing herself in front of such a large audience.
  3. I would never do anything to embarrass my family.
  4. The protest was staged as a deliberate attempt to embarrass the government.
  5. 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


French embarrasser, from Spanish embarazar, from Portuguese embaraçar, from em- (from Latin in-) + baraça noose
First Known Use: 1672

Synonym Discussion of EMBARRASS

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>.

Rhymes with EMBARRASS


transitive verb em·bar·rass \im-ˈbar-əs\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of EMBARRASS

:  to impair the activity of (a bodily function) or the function of (a bodily part) <digestion embarrassed by overeating>


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