\ ə-ˈbash How to pronounce abash (audio) \
abashed; abashing; abashes

Definition of abash

transitive verb

: to destroy the self-possession or self-confidence of (someone) : disconcert He had never blushed in his life; no humiliation could abash him.— Charlotte Brontë

Other Words from abash

abashment \ ə-​ˈbash-​mənt How to pronounce abash (audio) \ noun
… I turned to Susan, still sitting there huddled up in her coat, looking, to my abashment, as helpless as the day I had found her. — Phillip Roth

Choose the Right Synonym for abash

embarrass, discomfit, abash, disconcert, rattle mean to distress by confusing or confounding. embarrass implies some influence that impedes thought, speech, or action. the question embarrassed her so much she couldn't answer 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

Examples of abash in a Sentence

felt terribly abashed when she walked into the wrong hotel room
Recent Examples on the Web Here, furious parents throw open the cupboard to reveal their daughter’s abashed lover, as younger children look on wide-eyed and the family dog prepares to attack. Susan Delson, WSJ, 20 June 2018 Bloom called him out, and the abashed Harris apologized. Christina Schoellkopf, latimes.com, 15 June 2018 Not easily abashed by body-shamers, Teigen has publicly posted next-to-naked topless photos in the past. Megan Decker, Harper's BAZAAR, 22 May 2018 Hefner was good-natured but rather abashed, diffident, and shy. Jeanie Pyun, The Hollywood Reporter, 2 Oct. 2017 Peverelli seemed slightly abashed at the images’ potential elevation from commerce to art. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, 22 May 2017 But there is also a sort of confused, abashed one, often ironic, that acknowledges a problem and tries to work through a particularly American obliviousness. Jill Mcdonough, New York Times, 21 Apr. 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abash.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of abash

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for abash

Middle English abaissen, abaschen "to lose one's composure," borrowed from Anglo-French abaiss-, stem of abair "to open wide, gape, be amazed," alteration (by prefix substitution) of esbaer (Continental Old French esbahir), from es- "out" (going back to Latin ex-) + baer "to open wide, gape," going back to Vulgar Latin *batāre — more at ex- entry 1, abeyance

Learn More About abash

Time Traveler for abash

Time Traveler

The first known use of abash was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near abash

abase oneself



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for abash

Cite this Entry

“Abash.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abash. Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for abash


\ ə-ˈbash How to pronounce abash (audio) \
abashed; abashing

Kids Definition of abash

More from Merriam-Webster on abash

Nglish: Translation of abash for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of abash for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!