em·​bar·​rass·​ing | \im-ˈber-ə-siŋ, -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

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Other Words from embarrassing

embarrassingly \ im-​ˈber-​ə-​siŋ-​lē , -​ˈba-​rə-​ \ adverb
an embarrassingly messy house

Examples of embarrassing in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The club lost six consecutive matches, including an embarrassing 3-0 loss on the road to the Montreal Impact. Jordan Culver, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando City fires coach Jason Kreis amid six-game losing streak," 15 June 2018 But in Solo, the subtle nods to the audience are either painfully forced or downright embarrassing. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "'Solo: A Star Wars Story' Is Good, But It Could've Been Great," 29 May 2018 Separately, the utility is spending massive amounts of money on infrastructure projects, with cost overruns and other problems — including an embarrassing mistake in purchasing advanced meters — adding to the burden of necessary upgrades. Daniel Beekman, The Seattle Times, "‘Alarm bell’ over City Light spending as Seattle council considers rate increases," 9 July 2018 And on Thursday, Jordan again found himself getting shut down by one of the embattled leaders of the Justice Department — this time in somewhat embarrassing fashion. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "Rod Rosenstein shuts down Jim Jordan over Fox News report," 28 June 2018 With his team coming off an injury-marred 4-8 season that ended with an embarrassing 66-3 home loss to Penn State, Durkin is at a critical juncture in his first head coaching job. Don Markus, baltimoresun.com, "Five of the biggest challenges facing new Maryland athletic director Damon Evans," 28 June 2018 Neck and facial twitching with hand clenching and an embarrassing sneezing sound. Danielle C. Belton, The Root, "A List of Every Stress-Related Illness I’ve Ever Had, Ranked From Horrible to ‘I Think I’m Dying’," 27 June 2018 Under an open-ended one against defamation, creators of internet memes have been arrested for embarrassing politicians. The Economist, "Why Indonesia is so bad at lawmaking," 21 June 2018 This proves to be more than embarrassing fumbling, something much more deeply felt than that. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "Saoirse Ronan is sexually inexperienced newlywed in 'On Chesil Beach'," 24 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of embarrassing

1778, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

7 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for embarrassing

The first known use of embarrassing was in 1778

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playful or foolish behavior

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