abash
\ \ [14] Abash shares a common ancestry with abeyance [16], although the latter underwent an about-turn in meaning in the 17th century which disguises their relationship. They go back to a Latin verb batāre, meaning ‘yawn’ or ‘gape’. This was borrowed into French as baer, later bayer (it was the source of English bayrecessed space’). The addition of the prefix es- (from Latin ex-) produced esbaer, later e(s)bahirgape with astonishment’, whence, via the present stem e(s)bass-, came English abash, which originally meant ‘stand amazed’ as well as ‘embarrass, discomfit’. (Bashful is a 16thcentury derivative, with elision of the a-, which was first used by the dramatist Nicholas Udall.) Addition of the prefix a- to Old French baer, meanwhile, had given abaeraspire after’, and its noun abeanceaspiration, desire’. In legal terminology, this word was used in French for the condition of a person in expectation or hope of receiving property, but in English the focus quickly became reversed to the property, and its condition of being temporarily without an owner.
\ \ Cf.ABEYANCE, BASHFUL

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • Abash — A*bash ([.a]*b[a^]sh ), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Abashed} ([.a]*b[a^]sht ); p. pr. & vb. n. {Abashing}.] [OE. abaissen, abaisshen, abashen, OF. esbahir, F. [ e]bahir, to astonish, fr. L. ex + the interjection bah, expressing astonishment. In OE.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • abash — abash; abash·less; abash·ment; abash·less·ly; …   English syllables

  • abash — index browbeat, confound, confuse (bewilder), disconcert, disgrace, disorient, dissuade, embarrass …   Law dictionary

  • abash — (v.) perplex, embarrass, early 15c., earlier lose one s composure, be upset (late 14c.), from O.Fr. esbaiss , present stem of esbaer gape with astonishment, from es out (see EX (Cf. ex )) + ba(y)er to be open, gape, from L. *batare to yawn, gape …   Etymology dictionary

  • abash — discomfit, *embarrass, disconcert, faze, rattle Analogous words: fluster, flurry, *discompose, perturb, disturb, agitate: chagrin, mortify (see corresponding adjectives at ASHAMED): confound, dumbfound, nonplus (see PUZZLE) Antonyms: embolden:… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • abash — [ə bash′] vt. [ME abaishen < OFr esbahir, to astonish < es , intens. (< L ex ) + stem of baer, to gape: see BAY2] to make embarrassed and ill at ease; make self conscious; disconcert SYN. EMBARRASS abashedly [ə bash′əd lē] adv. abashment …   English World dictionary

  • abash — [14] Abash shares a common ancestry with abeyance [16], although the latter underwent an about turn in meaning in the 17th century which disguises their relationship. They go back to a Latin verb batāre, meaning ‘yawn’ or ‘gape’. This was… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • abash — abashment, n. /euh bash /, v.t. to destroy the self confidence, poise, or self possession of; disconcert; make ashamed or embarrassed: to abash someone by sneering. [1275 1325; ME abaishen < dial. OF abacher, OF abaissier to put down, bring low… …   Universalium

  • abash — verb /əˈbæʃ/ To make ashamed; to embarrass; to destroy the self possession of; to confuse or confound, as by exciting suddenly a consciousness of guilt, mistake, or …   Wiktionary

  • abash — transitive verb Etymology: Middle English abaishen, from Anglo French abaiss , abair to astonish, alteration of esbair, from ex + baer to open wide, gape more at abeyance Date: 14th century to destroy the self possession or self confidence of ;… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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