From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishembarrassmentem‧bar‧rass‧ment /ɪmˈbærəsmənt/ ●●○ noun 1 [uncountable]EMBARRASSED the feeling you have when you are embarrassedembarrassment at She suffered extreme embarrassment at not knowing how to read. He could not hide his embarrassment at his children’s rudeness.to somebody’s embarrassment To her embarrassment, she couldn’t remember his name.2 [countable]EMBARRASSED an event that causes a government, political organization etc problems, and makes it look badembarrassment to/for The allegations have been an acute embarrassment (=serious and severe embarrassment) to the prime minister. The scandal was a further source of embarrassment to the government.3 [countable]EMBARRASSED someone who behaves in a way that makes you feel ashamed, nervous, or uncomfortableembarrassment to Tim’s drinking has made him an embarrassment to the whole family.4 → financial embarrassment5 → an embarrassment of richesCOLLOCATIONS – Meaning 1: the feeling you have when you are embarrassedadjectivesgreat embarrassmentTo my great embarrassment, my dad started dancing.severe/extreme embarrassmentThis scandal could cause severe embarrassment to the government.considerable embarrassment (=quite strong)His behaviour was a source of considerable embarrassment to his family.acute embarrassment (=very strong and not lasting very long)There was a moment of acute embarrassment when we realized people were watching.further embarrassment (=extra or additional)His resignation should save the government any further embarrassment.potential embarrassment (=possible)By dropping out of the competition, he was spared the potential embarrassment of losing.obvious embarrassment (=clear for other people to see)He shuffled his feet around in obvious embarrassment.verbscause embarrassmentSome of his jokes caused embarrassment to the older members of the audience.avoid embarrassmentThis solution could help both countries avoid embarrassment.hide your embarrassmentShe started laughing in an attempt to hide her embarrassment.phrasesa source of embarrassment (=a cause of embarrassment)His views on immigration were a constant source of embarrassment to the party. COLLOCATIONS – Meaning 2: an event that causes a government, political organization etc problems, and makes it look badverbsbe/become an embarrassmentYour behaviour is becoming an embarrassment to the school.be considered an embarrassment (=be thought of as embarrassing)He may be popular abroad, but he's considered an embarrassment at home.prove an embarrassment (=be an embarrassment)The publication of the documents proved a severe embarrassment to the company.adjectivesa big/severe embarrassmentThis failure was a severe embarrassment to the government. a huge embarrassment (=very big or severe)If the story is true, it could prove a huge embarrassment to the star.a serious/major embarrassment (=severe and important)This episode has been a serious embarrassment for the club.an acute embarrassment (=extremely severe and important)Her memoirs were an acute embarrassment to the president.a considerable embarrassment (=quite severe)The photograph was a considerable embarrassment to the royal family.
Examples from the Corpusembarrassment• In Britain the only consensus has appeared to be to regard him as an embarrassment.• With the cold war over, I became an embarrassment to my parents and a joke to my kids.• She soon became an embarrassment to her sons.• We have an embarrassment of riches here!• Stich's arrest was an embarrassment to the agency because they had often criticized foreign governments of corruption.• Looking in her direction was an embarrassment.• He looked down at the floor in an attempt to hide his embarrassment.• Will looked down and tried to hide his embarrassment.• She read my poem out to the whole class - I almost died of embarrassment.• In their 74-point embarrassment on Sunday, the team appeared disorganized.embarrassment at• She suffered extreme embarrassment at not knowing how to read.embarrassment to/for• He was becoming an embarrassment to the Government.• The study is an embarrassment for the lord chancellor, who insists that appointments are made purely on merit.• Our failure was an embarrassment to everyone from President Tom Strauss to the lowest geek in London.• The content may be too trivial or too deep for the group, causing embarrassment to the teacher.• This was a source of perpetual embarrassment to the college and fuel for attack on the part of critics in the press.• But the meteorites were a potential embarrassment to the purest forms of uniformitarianism.• This party had the nerve to announce his shameful embarrassments to all the world!