embarrassment Definition

  • 1a feeling of self-consciousness, shame, or awkwardness
  • 2an act or instance of embarrassing someone

Using embarrassment: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "embarrassment" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    She felt a deep sense of embarrassment when she realized she had worn mismatched shoes to work.

  • Example

    The politician's scandal caused great embarrassment for his party.

  • Example

    He tried to hide his embarrassment by laughing it off.

  • Example

    I caused an embarrassment for my family by getting into a fight at the wedding reception.

embarrassment Synonyms and Antonyms

Antonyms for embarrassment

Idioms Using embarrassment

  • to behave in a way that attracts attention and causes embarrassment


    He made a spectacle of himself at the party by drinking too much and dancing on the table.

  • to become very red in the face due to embarrassment or shame


    She turned beet red when she realized she had accidentally sent an email complaining about her boss to her boss.

  • to accept the unpleasant consequences of one's actions


    After getting caught cheating on the exam, he knew he had to face the music and accept the failing grade.

Phrases with embarrassment

  • to feel extremely embarrassed or ashamed


    I almost died of embarrassment when I realized I had been walking around with my fly open all day.

  • to cause someone to feel embarrassed or ashamed


    He put his coworker to embarrassment by pointing out her mistake in front of everyone.

  • save someone's embarrassment

    to prevent someone from feeling embarrassed or ashamed


    She saved her friend's embarrassment by quickly changing the subject when she noticed her friend's dress was on backwards.

Origins of embarrassment

from French 'embarras', meaning 'obstacle, obstruction, perplexity'


Summary: embarrassment in Brief

The term 'embarrassment' [ɪmˈbærəsmənt] refers to feelings of self-consciousness, shame, or awkwardness, often resulting from an act or instance of embarrassing someone. It spans contexts from social faux pas to public scandals, exemplified by 'The politician's scandal caused great embarrassment for his party.' 'Embarrassment' extends into phrases like 'die of embarrassment,' and idioms like 'make a spectacle of oneself,' denoting attention-grabbing behavior, and 'face the music,' implying acceptance of consequences.

How do native speakers use this expression?