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

That was a gracious response to an embarrassing incident. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "England fans invaded a London IKEA after World Cup win against Sweden," 8 July 2018 Simply put, a loss to Murray State this fall would be the most embarrassing defeat in the modern history of the program. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "How Kentucky football can win (or lose) against Murray State in Week 3," 4 July 2018 Being able to be grateful without being embarrassing, effusive without insincerity. A.a. Gill, A-LIST, "Fraught, But It Counts," 4 July 2018 That is not accurate, sir.’’ Jordan accused him of redacting documents to hide information embarrassing to the FBI. ‘‘Mr. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "Republicans berate deputy attorney general, demand that he end Russia probe," 29 June 2018 To be sure, Trump’s redesign of Air Force One likely would be gaudy and embarrassing. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Trump is right to reject Air Force One nostalgia.," 12 July 2018 On the scale of annoyance, do the handful of major nominations at least make that less embarrassing than Better Things only getting nominated for Pamela Adlon as lead actress, but not for series or direction or writing? Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter, "THR's TV Critics Debate the Highs and Lows of the 2018 Emmy Nominations," 12 July 2018 Now that Black Panther has exceeded the wildest commercial dreams of those earlier filmmakers, the new Superfly seems even more like an embarrassing throwback. J.r. Jones, Chicago Reader, "Superfly rolls back the clock on African-American movie heroes," 21 June 2018 Skip the embarrassing aftermath and keep those lids closed. 5. Yerin Kim, Seventeen, "11 Mistakes to Avoid During a Hot Makeout Sesh," 12 June 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

12 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for embarrassing

The first known use of embarrassing was in 1778

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the setting in which something occurs

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