Word of the Day : December 26, 2010


verb im-BAIR-us


1 : to confuse or disconcert

2 : to involve in financial difficulties

3 : to cause to experience self-conscious distress

4 : to hinder or impede

Did You Know?

If you've ever been so embarrassed that you felt like you were caught up in a noose of shame you may have some insight into the origins of the word "embarrass." The word can be traced back through French and Spanish to the Portuguese word "embaraçar," which was itself probably formed as a combination of the prefix "em-" (from Latin "in-") and "baraça," the Portuguese word for "noose." Though "embarrass" has had various meanings throughout its history in English, these days it most often implies making someone feel or look foolish.


She embarrassed her grandson by showing his baby pictures to his friends.

"She wasn't about to embarrass herself in front of a man she hardly knew. Gracie had learned years ago that if she couldn't make herself invisible, a tough exterior was her second best defense." -- From Lorelle Marinello's 2010 novel Salting Roses

Test Your Memory

What is the meaning of "rectrix," our Word of the Day from December 8, 2010? The answer is ...


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