1 a : to cause to experience a state of self-conscious distress
b : to place in doubt, perplexity, or difficulties
c : to involve in financial difficulties
2 a : to hamper the movement of
3 : to make intricate : complicate
4 : to impair the activity of (a bodily function) or the function of (a bodily part)
Did You Know?
If you've ever been so embarrassed that you felt like you were caught up in a noose of shame, then 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 related to acts that hinder or impede throughout its history in English, these days it most often implies making someone feel or look foolish.
He was embarrassed to discover that he had been talking to prospective clients all day with a piece of spinach lodged in his teeth.
"To start with, the existence of the blog post itself is a striking demonstration of privilege. Most people think twice before publicly embarrassing their former employers, for fear that it will ruin their careers or they will face other types of retaliation." — Sarah Kessler, Quartz, 27 Jan. 2018
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
Unscramble the letters to create a synonym of embarrass: RISEDTCOCN.VIEW THE ANSWER
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