Definition of embarrassment in US English:

embarrassment

noun

  • 1A feeling of self-consciousness, shame, or awkwardness.

    ‘I turned red with embarrassment’
    • ‘He looks around and is consumed by acute embarrassment, even shame, at what he sees.’
    • ‘The actions of the fans were disrespectful, and they have brought shame and embarrassment on their club, and on this country.’
    • ‘Pauline said today she feared that embarrassment and shame could be stopping Christine and Nicholas from contacting her.’
    • ‘I put down my music, eyes pricking and throat closing up with anxiety, rage, confusion and embarrassment.’
    • ‘It will be profound, a mixture of embarrassment, shame and a huge feeling of emptiness.’
    • ‘Boys, to Nina's shame and embarrassment, were a constant preoccupation.’
    • ‘Along with embarrassment and guilt, shame is one of the emotions that motivate moral behaviour.’
    • ‘As the addiction can be accompanied by feelings of shame and embarrassment, sufferers often find it difficult to seek help.’
    • ‘Today I have no pride, no faith, only embarrassment, anger, and frustration.’
    • ‘I wondered how much of this self-conscious embarrassment was induced by a few days in the surroundings of Oxford.’
    • ‘A lot of women still feel embarrassment and shame about their own desires.’
    • ‘Feelings of expectation, embarrassment, distress and emotional harm vary according to the individual.’
    • ‘Compulsions are obvious to an observer and can cause considerable shame and embarrassment.’
    • ‘The embarrassment and shame it brings on the family means people are keeping quiet and women are being cocooned in their homes.’
    • ‘They boast of getting ‘wrecked’ at weekends as a matter of pride rather than shame or embarrassment.’
    • ‘I felt a lot of shame, embarrassment and humiliation, I lived with all that for years.’
    • ‘Horror, shock, embarrassment, confusion and sadness all swept across at the same time.’
    • ‘This is a highly readable and strangely affecting comedy of embarrassment, resentment, grief and love.’
    • ‘It evoked feelings of nostalgia, embarrassment and wonder at how I was thinking then.’
    • ‘This to me sounds like some gay people feel shame or embarrassment in having a partner of the same sex.’
    awkwardness, self-consciousness, unease, uneasiness, discomfort, discomfiture, edginess
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A person or thing causing embarrassment.
      ‘he was an embarrassment who was safely left ignored’
      ‘her extreme views might be an embarrassment to the movement’
      • ‘Despite our loser basketball players, and a few other embarrassments, it's been difficult to quell the American spirit.’
      • ‘Following several previous embarrassments, the city is expected to nix its deal with the company and resume parking responsibilities itself.’
      • ‘I can only assume that the Republicans became so good at manufacturing these scandals and embarrassments that the press forgot how to do it for themselves.’
      • ‘‘Three embarrassments on top of one another seems too much,’ one source close to the Cabinet conceded last night.’
      • ‘Over the years I have been sickened by the embarrassments that plagued his tenure and the reprehensible antagonism he suffered by Republican leaders.’
      • ‘After several years of headaches, embarrassments and controversies, the Nunavut department of education can report at least one piece of good news.’
      • ‘Among other embarrassments: the firms were run by felons and hired felons to make the pro-law enforcement pitch.’
      • ‘But the family story, with all its problems, embarrassments and dysfunctional members, still has its universal appeal, at home and abroad.’
      • ‘On both the foreign policy and the fiscal fronts, the Bush administration is trying to rewrite history, to explain away its current embarrassments.’
      • ‘Now, less prone to the pervasive embarrassments of adolescence, her emotional appreciation of the book is simply a memory.’
      • ‘Adolescents who are depressed may be hypersensitive and overreact to minor problems or embarrassments.’
      • ‘The continuing embarrassments culminated in the most public of Europe's failures, ‘safe havens’.’
      • ‘Their fashion embarrassments involved medallions and leisure suits, ours were about greasy hair, Kodiaks and lumberjackets.’
      • ‘Don't allow the planners to be carried away with pretentious, pie-in-the-sky ideas which will become the rubbish-strewn embarrassments of the future.’
      • ‘Clearly, the career people in the intel community are feeling emboldened by the White House's recent Iraq embarrassments.’
      • ‘Supporters of devolution have become inured to setbacks, diversions, embarrassments, disappointments and shocks.’
      • ‘Put together three unrelated embarrassments on a single day and all the good that has been achieved since 1997 is supposed to be overshadowed and forgotten.’
      • ‘The current director resigned amid a series of scandalous embarrassments involving children that were supposed to be in Florida's care.’
      • ‘The theft follows other recent embarrassments to the department, specifically, allegations of cheating and irregularities in test scoring.’
      • ‘Well, certainly those would be embarrassments for the president.’
    2. 1.2 Financial difficulty.
      ‘his temporary financial embarrassment’
      • ‘He cannot say he was unprepared for York council's financial embarrassment.’
      difficulty, predicament, plight, problem, mess, entanglement, imbroglio
      View synonyms

Phrases

  • embarrassment of riches (or choice)

    • More options or resources than one knows what to do with.

      ‘picking a highlight from such an embarrassment of riches is hard’
      ‘there is an embarrassment of intellectual riches in the two anthologies’
      ‘as consumers we have an embarrassment of choice’
      • ‘In short, what we have here is an astonishing wealth and stylistic range of soundscapes, quite literally an embarrassment of riches.’
      • ‘Minor affluence is a far cry from what I'd call "an embarrassment of riches."’
      • ‘Suddenly, the selectors who hardly knew where to turn earlier in the season have an embarrassment of riches.’
      • ‘Turning to his bibliography, a rigorous catalogue of debates in book and periodical, we face an embarrassment of choice.’
      • ‘This collection of gems puts him in that happy predicament the French call "an embarrassment of choices."’
      • ‘What at first seems to be nothing more than a contractual obligation thing is actually an embarrassment of riches.’
      • ‘We've like I said, we have an embarrassment of riches.’
      • ‘Given the generosity with which people describe themselves, such Web sites are an embarrassment of riches.’
      • ‘He has come full bloom at the time Indian cricket has an embarrassment of riches.’
      • ‘From being an embarrassment up front, they have an embarrassment of riches.’

Pronunciation

embarrassment

/əmˈberəsmənt//əmˈbɛrəsmənt/