embarrass

\ \ [17] As in the case of embargo, the etymological meaning of embarrass is ‘put behind bars’. It comes ultimately from Italian imbarraresurround with bars’, hence ‘impede’, a compound verb formed from the prefix in- ‘in’ and Vulgar Latin *barrabar’ (source of English bar). From this was derived imbarazzare, which passed into English via Spanish embarazar and French embarrasser. Its original meaning ‘impede, hamper’ remains in use, chiefly in the context ‘financially embarrassed’, but has been overtaken in frequency by ‘disconcert’.
\ \ Cf.BAR, BARRIER

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • Embarrass — ist der Name mehrerer Orte in den Vereinigten Staaten: Embarrass (Illinois) Embarrass (Minnesota) Embarrass (Wisconsin) Embarrass Township (Illinois) Embarrass Township (Minnesota) Fluss: Embarrass River (Minnesota) Embarrass River (Wisconsin) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Embarrass — may refer to:* Embarrass, Wisconsin, United States * Embarrass Township, Edgar County, Illinois, United States * Embarrass Township, St. Louis County, Minnesota, United Statesee also* Embarras * Embarrass River * Embarrassment …   Wikipedia

  • embarrass — embarrass, discomfit, abash, disconcert, rattle, faze mean to balk by confusing or confounding, but each word is capable of expressing precise and distinctive shades of meaning. Embarrass characteristically implies some influence which impedes… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Embarrass — Em*bar rass ([e^]m*b[a^]r ras), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Embarrassed} ([e^]m*b[a^]r rast); p. pr. & vb. n. {Embarrassing}.] [F. embarrasser (cf. Sp. embarazar, Pg. embara[,c]ar, Pr. barras bar); pref. em (L. in) + LL. barra bar. See {Bar}.] 1. To… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Embarrass — Embarrass, WI U.S. village in Wisconsin Population (2000): 399 Housing Units (2000): 164 Land area (2000): 1.203737 sq. miles (3.117664 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.003955 sq. miles (0.010243 sq. km) Total area (2000): 1.207692 sq. miles… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Embarrass, WI — U.S. village in Wisconsin Population (2000): 399 Housing Units (2000): 164 Land area (2000): 1.203737 sq. miles (3.117664 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.003955 sq. miles (0.010243 sq. km) Total area (2000): 1.207692 sq. miles (3.127907 sq. km) FIPS …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Embarrass — Em*bar rass, n. [F. embarras. See {Embarrass}, v. t.] Embarrassment. [Obs.] Bp. Warburton. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • embarrass — [em bar′əs, imbar′əs] vt. [Fr embarrasser, lit., to encumber, obstruct < Sp embarazar < It imbarrazzare < imbarrare, to bar, impede < in (L in ) + ML barra, BAR1] 1. to cause to feel self conscious, confused, and ill at ease;… …   English World dictionary

  • embarrass — I verb abash, annoy, baffle, bedevil, beset, bewilder, bother, burden, cause confusion, cause discomfort, cause to feel ill at ease, chagrin, confuse, conturbare, discomfit, discomfort, discompose, disconcert, disquiet, distress, disturb,… …   Law dictionary

  • embarrass — (v.) 1670s, perplex, throw into doubt, from Fr. embarrasser (16c.), lit. to block, from embarras obstacle, from It. imbarrazzo, from imbarrare to bar, from in into, upon (see IN (Cf. in ) (2)) + V.L. *barra bar. Meaning …   Etymology dictionary

  • embarrass — embarrass, embarrassment are spelt with two rs and two s s …   Modern English usage

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