Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



abashing (comparative more abashing, superlative most abashing)

  1. Tending to abash; causing embarrassment or the loss of self-possession.
    Synonyms: bewildering, disconcerting
    • 1684, Increase Mather, An Essay for the Recording of Illustrious Providences, Boston: Joseph Browning, Chapter 12, pp. 366-367,[1]
      [] many young People have by the grace of the Lord been prepared for full Communion, and have taken hold of the Covenant, confessing, that they have felt the impression of that Word upon that abashing occasion spoken:
    • 1784, Hannah Cowley, A Bold Stroke for a Husband, London: T. Evans, Act III, Scene 3, pp. 47-48,[2]
      Why these fair girls are so stared at by the men, and the young fellows, now-a-days, have a damn’d impudent stare with them,—’tis very abashing to a woman—very distressing!
    • 1814, Frances Burney, The Wanderer, London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, Volume 1, Chapter 9, p. 166,[3]
      [] the mixt party there assembled, was prepared to survey her with a curiosity which she found extremely abashing.
    • 1925, Sinclair Lewis, Arrowsmith, New York: Grosset & Dunlap, Chapter 24, p. 265,[4]
      Before Angus appeared, Martin had to wait a quarter-hour in a smaller, richer, still more abashing reception-room.
    • 2006, Sarah Waters, The Night Watch, London: Virago, “1944,” Chapter 3, p. 287,[5]
      But when the roaring died, there was only the silence: the awful, abashing stillness of the prison night.

Derived terms[edit]



  1. present participle of abash