em·​bar·​rass·​ing | \ im-ˈber-ə-siŋ How to pronounce embarrassing (audio) , -ˈba-rə-\

Definition of embarrassing

: causing a feeling of self-conscious confusion and distress : causing embarrassment an embarrassing error The official was ever so polite, and ever so sorry, but the rule was strict, and he could not let us in. It was very embarrassing, for many eyes were on us.— Mark Twain

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from embarrassing

embarrassingly \ im-​ˈber-​ə-​siŋ-​lē How to pronounce embarrassingly (audio) , -​ˈba-​rə-​ \ adverb
an embarrassingly messy house

Examples of embarrassing in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Since The Voice first premiered in 2011, there have been plenty of uncomfortable moments and embarrassing blunders. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "‘The Voice’ Fans Are All Convinced This Contestant Looks Like Miranda Lambert," 16 Mar. 2019 Money Talks Experts on how to turn an embarrassing question into a teachable moment. John Brodie, Town & Country, "How to Talk to Your Children About Money," 29 Jan. 2019 By keeping celebrities’ embarrassing secrets, the company was able to ingratiate itself with them and ask for favors in return. Alex Finley - Center For Public Integrity, Vox, "Trump got the National Enquirer to bury his secrets. Did he do the same with Putin?," 21 Dec. 2018 Feinstein, in an apparent attempt to avoid what could be an embarrassing loss, on Tuesday called for unity and urged party leaders to decline to endorse anyone at the upcoming executive board meeting where the endorsement question will be decided. Phil Willon, latimes.com, "Feinstein and De León enter round two in fight over California Democratic Party endorsement," 4 July 2018 In a new interview, Jenna Coleman shared her most embarrassing moment. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Victoria Actress Jenna Coleman's Most Embarrassing Moment Is So Relatable," 19 Feb. 2019 But what once was a cute aversion to the kitchen is now downright embarrassing. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "How I Conquered the Kitchen and Finally Started Cooking for Myself," 25 Jan. 2019 The Lines in early March, the interview Bob Ley conducted with both Listenbee and his attorney was more embarrassing for the plaintiff than destructive for Patterson and TCU. Mac Engel, star-telegram, "HBO Real Sports piece on TCU won't be a good look... for the school or Gary Patterson | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 23 Apr. 2018 Some of the early opinions became embarrassing and were quietly deleted. David Bauder, The Seattle Times, "Some journalists wonder if their profession is tweet-crazy," 29 Jan. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of embarrassing

1778, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about embarrassing

Statistics for embarrassing

Last Updated

11 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for embarrassing

The first known use of embarrassing was in 1778

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on embarrassing

What made you want to look up embarrassing? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
True or False

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


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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