Webster's English Dictionary

embarrass

em.bar.rass \im-'bar-*s\ vt [F embarrasser, fr. Sp embarazar, fr. Pg 
   embarac~X] 1a: to hamper the movement of  1b: HINDER, IMPEDE  2a: to place 
   in doubt, perplexity, or difficulties  2b: to involve in financial 
   difficulties  2c: to cause to experience a state of self-conscious distress 
    3: to make intricate : COMPLICATE ARRASS implies some influence that 
   impedes thought, speech, or action and may be used of persons or of the 
   things they plan or desire to do; DISCOMFIT implies a hampering or 
   frustrating accompanied by confusion; ABASH presupposes some initial 
   self-confidence that receives a sudden check by something that produces 
   shyness, shame, or a conviction of inferiority; DISCONCERT implies an 
   upsetting of equanimity or assurance producing uncertainty or hesitancy; 
   RATTLE implies an agitation that impairs thought and judgment SYN syn 
   DISCOMFIT, ABASH, DISCONCERT, RATTLE: EMB

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