embarrassment

noun

em·​bar·​rass·​ment im-ˈber-ə-smənt How to pronounce embarrassment (audio)
-ˈba-rəs-
1
a
: 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

Example Sentences

She couldn't hide her embarrassment. The scandal was a major embarrassment for the government. He's an embarrassment to his family.
Recent Examples on the Web In the meantime, this is an embarrassment for Iowa, and nepotism remains a stain on college football. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland, 22 Oct. 2022 In the acting categories, there was an embarrassment of riches, a veritable Aladdin’s cave of glorious, and gloriously weird, performances. Liam Hess, Vogue, 12 Sep. 2022 The silence across the government did not still a welter of questions surrounding the incident that is an embarrassment to wide swatches of the federal authorities in San Diego, from the Department of Justice to the court and court agencies. San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Sep. 2022 Worse than being an embarrassment, our transit system is in danger of becoming an economic liability — especially the subway, after the sudden decision to shut down the Orange Line for a month to make emergency repairs. Larry Edelman, BostonGlobe.com, 12 Aug. 2022 The cast was such an embarrassment of aesthetic riches that Halle Berry (Halle Berry! Damon Young, Washington Post, 1 Aug. 2022 CDs and savings accounts at traditional banks are paying about half a percent, which is an embarrassment. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 11 July 2022 Today, Jackson’s water system is a symbol of national embarrassment, highlighted by this August’s crisis that deprived more than 170,000 people of water to drink, wash or flush toilets. Nicole Fallert, USA TODAY, 26 Oct. 2022 Cohen describes the foreclosure of her home as a traumatic experience that caused her a lot of embarrassment when it was brought up in her successful 2010 campaign for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Taryn Lunastaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 5 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1676, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of embarrassment was in 1676

Dictionary Entries Near embarrassment

Cite this Entry

“Embarrassment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/embarrassment. Accessed 29 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

embarrassment

noun

em·​bar·​rass·​ment im-ˈbar-əs-mənt How to pronounce embarrassment (audio)
1
a
: something that embarrasses
the scandal was a terrible embarrassment
b
: an overly large quantity from which to select
used especially in the phrase embarrassment of riches
2
: the state of being embarrassed
blushed with embarrassment

Medical Definition

embarrassment

noun

em·​bar·​rass·​ment im-ˈbar-ə-smənt How to pronounce embarrassment (audio)
: difficulty in functioning as a result of disease
cardiac embarrassment
respiratory embarrassment

More from Merriam-Webster on embarrassment

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