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 Running back Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt give the Browns an embarrassment of depth at this spot. Scott Patsko, cleveland, "Ranking positions Browns fans think Andrew Berry should target in the draft," 2 Apr. 2021 It’s been implicated in abetting corruption in South Africa and Mongolia, accused of enabling oppression in Saudi Arabia, and suffered the embarrassment of a partner’s arrest as part of a massive insider trading scandal. Oliver Staley, Quartz, "McKinsey faces its moment of reckoning," 27 Mar. 2021 One wonders if Craig will transcend the momentary embarrassment of onscreen gas-passing to have a grander last laugh. Daniel D'addario, chicagotribune.com, "Review: QAnon documentary ‘Q: Into the Storm’ investigates conspiracy-theory movement," 15 Mar. 2021 But Rubio’s piece is filled with these awkward acts of rhetorical hedging, lest he be caught in the embarrassment of being an authentic union supporter. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, "Marco Rubio’s Lazy, Bad Faith Effort to Weaponize Amazon Workers," 12 Mar. 2021 Practically speaking, the refusal to articulate concrete positions spared the Party the embarrassment of watching the President contradict them. Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker, "What Is Happening to the Republicans?," 8 Mar. 2021 Where every portion of it overflows and rests at our feet, an embarrassment of riches. New York Times, "A World of Black Intimacy at the Card Table," 24 Feb. 2021 There are so many choices—a paradise of them, an embarrassment of them. Travel + Leisure, "On a Family Trip Gone Awry, One Writer Learns to Finally Embrace the Unexpected," 20 Feb. 2021 Ron Johnson is an embarrassment to the United States Senate and the state of Wisconsin. Allison Pecorin, ABC News, "GOP Sen. Ron Johnson denies comments about Black Lives Matter protesters racist," 15 Mar. 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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Statistics for embarrassment

Last Updated

6 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Embarrassment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/embarrassment. Accessed 10 Apr. 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

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Comments on embarrassment

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