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

That was an embarrassment of riches for Montas, who struck out nine batters in six innings. Jerry Mcdonald, The Mercury News, "Athletics get after Mariners as Frankie Montas wins again," 15 June 2019 Back in 2008, UMG undoubtedly feared the public embarrassment that news of the losses could bring. New York Times, "The Day the Music Burned," 11 June 2019 To add to the Warriors’ embarrassment, Toronto head coach Nick Nurse unleashed a box-and-1 — a defense expected more from a middle-school rec team than an NBA contender — on Stephen Curry for the second time in three games. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "Warriors must now make history after Game 4 loss puts them in 3-1 Finals hole," 7 June 2019 The gaffe was a pittance compared to the actual embarrassments that besieged the organization. Andy Mccullough, latimes.com, "Cubs add closer Craig Kimbrel and Dodgers get company in N.L. pennant race," 5 June 2019 In place of the good versus evil push and pull that propelled the The Witches of Eastwick’s plot, the pair offered a dazzling array of choices for their high-living customer. Call it an embarrassment of riches or, simply, a win-win situation. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Baby, It’s Cold Outside—Here Are 19 Designer-Approved Movies to Watch Cuddled Up at Home," 11 Dec. 2018 Any cash shortfall can cause embarrassment, with power supply to the brand-new Samara Arena briefly turned off last month when electricity bills had reportedly gone unpaid for several months. James Ellingworth, Fox News, "Two months after WCup final, Russia police no longer relaxed," 15 Sep. 2018 So often the source of letdowns and embarrassments, England's soccer team is a unifying force among players and the nation. Rob Harris, chicagotribune.com, "After so much humiliation, England's World Cup team a source of national pride," 7 July 2018 No one should have to live with this pain, nor the embarrassment, loneliness, and shame that often accompanies it. Angela Garbes, The Cut, "What If We Told Women the Truth About What Birth Can Do to Their Bodies?," 15 May 2018

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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Statistics for embarrassment

Last Updated

21 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for embarrassment

The first known use of embarrassment was in 1676

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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

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Comments on embarrassment

What made you want to look up embarrassment? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


having a desire to acquire more things

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