Thesaurus

embarrass

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of embarrass

1 to throw into a state of self-conscious distress
  • the modest young soldiers were embarrassed by the public praise for their heroism

Synonyms for embarrass

Words Related to embarrass

Near Antonyms for embarrass

2 to create difficulty for the work or activity of
  • a lot of this paperwork is unnecessary and just embarrasses the organization

Synonyms for embarrass

Words Related to embarrass

Phrases Synonymous with embarrass

Near Antonyms for embarrass

Antonyms for embarrass

3 to make complex or difficult
  • claims that the new government regulations will needlessly embarrass the operations of small businesses in the state

Synonyms for embarrass

Words Related to embarrass

Near Antonyms for embarrass

Antonyms for embarrass

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About embarrass

How does the verb embarrass contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of embarrass are abash, discomfit, disconcert, and rattle. While all these words mean "to distress by confusing or confounding," embarrass implies some influence that impedes thought, speech, or action.

the question embarrassed her so much she couldn't answer

When might abash be a better fit than embarrass?

The synonyms abash and embarrass are sometimes interchangeable, but abash presupposes some initial self-confidence that receives a sudden check, producing shyness, shame, or a feeling of inferiority.

abashed by her swift and cutting retort

In what contexts can discomfit take the place of embarrass?

The meanings of discomfit and embarrass largely overlap; however, discomfit implies a hampering or frustrating accompanied by confusion.

hecklers discomfited the speaker

When would disconcert be a good substitute for embarrass?

While in some cases nearly identical to embarrass, disconcert implies an upsetting of equanimity or assurance producing uncertainty or hesitancy.

disconcerted by finding so many in attendance

Where would rattle be a reasonable alternative to embarrass?

The words rattle and embarrass can be used in similar contexts, but rattle implies an agitation that impairs thought and judgment.

rattled by all the television cameras

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about embarrass

Time Traveler for embarrass

Time Traveler

The first known use of embarrass was in 1578

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about embarrass

Cite this Entry

“Embarrass.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/embarrass. Accessed 25 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on embarrass

Dictionary: Definition of embarrass

Medical Dictionary: Definition of embarrass

Nglish: Translation of embarrass for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of embarrass for Arabic Speakers

Comments on embarrass

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three bears two of them look like theyre whispering to a third bear who looks chuffed to be the center of attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!