English

Definition of embarrass verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    embarrass

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ɪmˈbærəs//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪmˈbærəs//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they embarrass
    BrE BrE//ɪmˈbærəs//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪmˈbærəs//
     
    he / she / it embarrasses
    BrE BrE//ɪmˈbærəsɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪmˈbærəsɪz//
     
    past simple embarrassed
    BrE BrE//ɪmˈbærəst//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪmˈbærəst//
     
    past participle embarrassed
    BrE BrE//ɪmˈbærəst//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪmˈbærəst//
     
    -ing form embarrassing
    BrE BrE//ɪmˈbærəsɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪmˈbærəsɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1  to make somebody feel shy, awkward or ashamed, especially in a social situation embarrass somebody Her questions about my private life embarrassed me. I didn't want to embarrass him by kissing him in front of his friends. it embarrasses somebody to do something It embarrassed her to meet strange men in the corridor at night.
  2. 2  embarrass somebody to cause problems or difficulties for somebody The speech was deliberately designed to embarrass the prime minister.
  3. Word Origin early 17th cent. (originally in the sense ‘to hamper’ or ‘impede (a person or action)’): from French embarrasser, from Spanish embarazar, probably from Portuguese embaraçar (from baraço ‘halter’).Extra examples He was obviously embarrassed at his lack of preparedness. I didn’t want to embarrass him by kissing him in front of his friends. The scandal has totally embarrassed cricket’s governing body.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: embarrass