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

Other Words from embarrassing

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

Examples of embarrassing in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Heated debates, unforgettable guests and embarrassing moments — the women of The View tell all Congrats, ladies! Emily Strohm, Peoplemag, 11 Aug. 2022 The contents of Trump's tax returns could contain potentially embarrassing information for the former president, USA TODAY previously reported. Ella Lee, USA TODAY, 10 Aug. 2022 The result was many embarrassing and awkward moments on and off the air. Erik Wemple, Washington Post, 5 Aug. 2022 The Fever went into the locker room at halftime down 28 points after a performance interim coach Carlos Knox called embarrassing. Wilson Moore, The Indianapolis Star, 5 Aug. 2022 Scott Axon, a business broker in his mid-60s from Springfield, Mo., called Mr. Greitens’s candidacy embarrassing. Lindsay Wise, WSJ, 30 July 2022 The fact that the company was recovering from an embarrassing scandal involving its former CEO, who was ousted for having an inappropriate relationship with an employee, added to the pressure. Geoff Colvin, Fortune, 27 July 2022 Both parties have an incentive to reach an out-of-court settlement and avoid a time-consuming, costly and embarrassing sideshow. Todd Spangler, Variety, 27 July 2022 Lots of embarrassing stuff happens in the Big Brother house. Dalton Ross, EW.com, 27 July 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of embarrassing

1778, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of embarrassing was in 1778

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Last Updated

15 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Embarrassing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/embarrassing. Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on embarrassing

Nglish: Translation of embarrassing for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of embarrassing for Arabic Speakers


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