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 What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you? Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "Ohio ends monthly inspections of Cuyahoga jail: The Wake Up for Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020," 22 Oct. 2020 Saturday was shaping up to be the most embarrassing loss in Texas coach Tom Herman’s four-year tenure. Brian Davis, USA TODAY, "Sam Ehlinger heroics can't do enough to save No. 22 Texas from frustrating loss to Oklahoma," 11 Oct. 2020 In February, Credit Suisse’s board forced Mr. Thiam’s resignation, after a deeply embarrassing surveillance scandal erupted on his watch. Kate Kelly, New York Times, "The Short Tenure and Abrupt Ouster of Banking’s Sole Black C.E.O.," 3 Oct. 2020 Do not let the oddities of this short, strange season distract you from the fact this was the most embarrassing loss of the Twins' record-breaking postseason losing streak. Star Tribune, "'Bomba ball' fine for August, but doesn't work when the games matter most," 1 Oct. 2020 The family relied on Mom, until her death, to sneak the most embarrassing ones into the trash bin. Annie Lane, oregonlive, "Dear Annie: More stories of handkerchiefs, warm memories," 9 Sep. 2020 Critics say authorities have delayed the vote to avoid an embarrassing defeat for the pro-establishment camp. Washington Post, "Hong Kong protesters defy national security law, return to streets to oppose election delay," 6 Sep. 2020 However, he was involved in a number of public spats with the club's hierarchy this season and suffered an embarrassing 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in his last game. Aleks Klosok And Ben Church, CNN, "Lionel Messi says he will 'continue' at Barcelona after wanting to leave the club 'all year'," 4 Sep. 2020 Bauer denied it, and no charges were filed, but the Yankees fined all the players who were there for the embarrassing headline-making episode. Richard Goldstein, New York Times, "Whitey Ford, Beloved Yankees Pitcher Who Confounded Batters, Dies at 91," 9 Oct. 2020

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

Time Traveler for embarrassing

Time Traveler

The first known use of embarrassing was in 1778

See more words from the same year

Statistics for embarrassing

Last Updated

25 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Embarrassing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/embarrassing. Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Here Be Dragons: A Creature Identification Quiz

  • monster werewolf photo
  • Which is a synonym of werewolf?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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!