em·​bar·​rass·​ment | \ im-ˈber-ə-smənt How to pronounce embarrassment (audio) , -ˈba-rəs- \

Definition of embarrassment

1a : something that embarrasses the scandal was a major embarrassment
b : an excessive quantity from which to select used especially in the phrase embarrassment of riches
2 : the state of being embarrassed: such as
a : confusion or disturbance of mind couldn't hide her embarrassment
b : difficulty arising from the want of money to pay debts
c : difficulty in functioning as a result of disease cardiac embarrassment

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Examples of embarrassment in a Sentence

She couldn't hide her embarrassment. The scandal was a major embarrassment for the government. He's an embarrassment to his family.
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Recent Examples on the Web The offense, finally, should not be a steaming pile of regret and embarrassment. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, 27 Aug. 2021 That is an embarrassment for the school and its many proud alumni, and should be for Brown as well. BostonGlobe.com, 13 Aug. 2021 But now—devoid of embarrassment and reveling in their own hypocrisy—Republicans are pressing for a rush to judgment in the waning days of Donald Trump’s first (and probably last) term. Win Mccormack, The New Republic, 12 Aug. 2021 Anosognosia is not a willful denial motivated by embarrassment or obstinacy. Meg Kissinger, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11 Aug. 2021 Melissa Jones Briggs, a lecturer in organizational behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business, says some people use business euphemisms and insider terms like an armor against uncertainty and embarrassment. Washington Post, 5 Aug. 2021 Distancing from failure or embarrassment is part of every politico's skill set. Arkansas Online, 19 July 2021 His actions are an embarrassment and distraction for a team focused on winning another championship. Los Angeles Times, 11 July 2021 This discovery kicked off rage, then embarrassment and self-doubt. Jessica Dulong, CNN, 10 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'embarrassment.' 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 embarrassment

1676, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for embarrassment

Time Traveler

The first known use of embarrassment was in 1676

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Dictionary Entries Near embarrassment



embarrassment of riches

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Statistics for embarrassment

Last Updated

9 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Embarrassment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/embarrassment. Accessed 19 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for embarrassment



English Language Learners Definition of embarrassment

: the state of feeling foolish in front of others
: something or someone that causes a person or group to look or feel foolish
: a very large number of things from which to choose


em·​bar·​rass·​ment | \ im-ˈber-əs-mənt How to pronounce embarrassment (audio) \

Kids Definition of embarrassment

1 : something that causes a person or group to feel foolish The poor test scores were an embarrassment to the school.
2 : the condition of feeling foolish in front of others I couldn't hide my embarrassment over the mistake.


em·​bar·​rass·​ment | \ im-ˈbar-ə-smənt How to pronounce embarrassment (audio) \

Medical Definition of embarrassment

: difficulty in functioning as a result of disease cardiac embarrassment respiratory embarrassment

More from Merriam-Webster on embarrassment

Nglish: Translation of embarrassment for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of embarrassment for Arabic Speakers


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