em·​bar·​rass·​ing im-ˈber-ə-siŋ How to pronounce embarrassing (audio)
: 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
embarrassingly adverb
an embarrassingly messy house

Examples of embarrassing in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Germany has watched its economic brand diminish in the face of economic indicators that make analysts cringe and embarrassing comparisons with the rampant U.S. Ryan Hogg, Fortune Europe, 19 Feb. 2024 Reclaiming the La Liga title last season suggested history might begin to repeat itself, despite an embarrassing exit from the Champions League. Zak Garner-Purkis, Forbes, 18 Feb. 2024 Such mix-ups are common and embarrassing among those who speak off the cuff, but their significance in evaluating a candidate’s health is uncertain. Lawrence K. Altman, STAT, 16 Feb. 2024 Sinking the vessel would be another embarrassing blow for the Russian Black Sea fleet and a significant success for Ukraine 10 days before the second anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion on Feb. 24, 2022. Illia Novikov The Associated Press, arkansasonline.com, 15 Feb. 2024 And in 2022, Meta, which owns Facebook, restricted a tool called CrowdTangle that journalists and researchers had used to show which posts were most popular — often with embarrassing, odd or politically skewed results — after executives said the tool was unrepresentative of normal use. Drew Harwell, Washington Post, 8 Feb. 2024 Russian President Vladimir Putin responded to the embarrassing defeat by announcing a mobilization in his country. Anastacia Galouchka, Washington Post, 8 Feb. 2024 Like, here’s every embarrassing thing that has happened with me in certain relationships. Lacey Rose, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 Feb. 2024 Some giggling over embarrassing moments from yesteryear soon follows. Maya Layne, Vogue, 7 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'embarrassing.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1778, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of embarrassing was in 1778

Dictionary Entries Near embarrassing

Cite this Entry

“Embarrassing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/embarrassing. Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on embarrassing

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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