• IPA: /ɪmˈbæɹəsmənt/


  1. A state of discomfort arising from bashfulness or consciousness of having violated a social rule; humiliation.
  2. A state of confusion arising from hesitation or difficulty in choosing.
  3. A person or thing which is the cause of humiliation to another.
    Kevin, you are an embarrassment to this family.
    Losing this highly publicized case was an embarrassment to the firm.
  4. A large collection of good or valuable things, especially one that exceeds requirements.
    • 1914, Collier's, page 30
      There are over 5,000 Americans now in Paris, many artists, singers, musicians, writers, and actors, so many, indeed, the committee could hardly pick a program from an embarrassment of volunteers.
    • 1996, David Morgan Evans, Peter Salway, David Thackray, The Remains of Distant Times: Archaeology and the National Trust, Boydell & Brewer ISBN 9780851156712, page 188
      The landscape presented an embarrassment of riches for the industrial archaeologist, and eighteenth- and nineteenth-century remains were still visible in abundance
    • 2013, Frank Boccia, The Crouching Beast: A United States Army Lieutenant's Account of the Battle for Hamburger Hill, May 1969, McFarland ISBN 9781476613086, page 256
      At one time, I reflected, we'd had an embarrassment of good, qualified squad leader—ready men in the platoon.
  5. (medical) Impairment of function due to disease: respiratory embarrassment.
  6. (dated) Difficulty in financial matters; poverty.
Translations Translations Translations
  • French: (être la) honte (de)
  • Portuguese: vergonha
  • Russian: позо́р

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