em·​bar·​rass·​ing im-ˈber-ə-siŋ How to pronounce embarrassing (audio)
: causing a feeling of self-conscious confusion and distress : causing embarrassment
an embarrassing error
The official was ever so polite, and ever so sorry, but the rule was strict, and he could not let us in. It was very embarrassing, for many eyes were on us.Mark Twain
embarrassingly adverb
an embarrassingly messy house

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The embarrassing realities of living with an invisible disability Judy loved children. Rebecca Cokley, CNN, 6 Mar. 2023 Even the Biden Administration felt obliged this month to acknowledge the violations, which must have been embarrassing since President Biden had unilaterally extended the 2010 treaty in his first days in office. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 21 Feb. 2023 For long stretches, India were playing from behind against a resurgent Australia hitting back hard after an embarrassing defeat in the series-opener. Tristan Lavalette, Forbes, 19 Feb. 2023 Embarrassed isn’t the word UCLA softball coach Kelly Inouye-Perez would use, even if the final scoreline was embarrassing. Los Angeles Times, 7 Feb. 2023 But to see the players who received votes from other players is embarrassing, and the league may need to review how much say the players have in the process. Gary Washburn, BostonGlobe.com, 28 Jan. 2023 Democrats sought to highlight the differences between Biden’s and Trump’s actions, while acknowledging Biden’s case is embarrassing. Azi Paybarah, Shane Harris And Perry Stein, Anchorage Daily News, 15 Jan. 2023 The Guardian reported last year that the Queen successfully lobbied the British government in the 1970s to change a draft law in order to conceal her private wealth from the public, claiming the disclosure would be embarrassing. Bailey Schulz, USA TODAY, 8 Sep. 2022 During losses at LSU and South Carolina, its effort level was embarrassing. Edgar Thompson, Orlando Sentinel, 6 Sep. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'embarrassing.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1778, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of embarrassing was in 1778

Dictionary Entries Near embarrassing

Cite this Entry

“Embarrassing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/embarrassing. Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on embarrassing

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