- Abash is defined as to cause someone to feel embarrassed or ill at ease.
A child's temper tantrum is an example of something that would abash a parent.
These parents are abashed by their child's behavior.
Origin of abashMiddle English abaishen ; from Old French esbahir, to astonish ; from es-, intensive (; from Classical Latin ex-) + stem of baer, to gape: see bay
transitive verba·bashed, a·bash·ing, a·bash·es
Origin of abashMiddle English abaishen, to lose one's composure, from Old French esbahir, esbahiss- : es-, intensive pref. (from Latin ex-; see ex–) + baer, to gape; see bay2.
(third-person singular simple present abashes, present participle abashing, simple past and past participle abashed)
- Of abash, confuse, confound: Abash is a stronger word than confuse, but not so strong as confound.
- We are abashed when struck either with sudden shame or with a humbling sense of inferiority; as, Peter was abashed by the look of his Master. So a modest youth is abashed in the presence of those who are greatly his superiors.
- We are confused when, from some unexpected or startling occurrence, we lose clearness of thought and self-possession. Thus, a witness is often confused by a severe cross-examination; a timid person is apt to be confused in entering a room full of strangers.
- We are confounded when our minds are overwhelmed, as it were, by something wholly unexpected, amazing, dreadful, etc., so that we have nothing to say. Thus, a criminal is usually confounded at the discovery of his guilt.
- Satan stood Awhile as mute, confounded what to say. – John Milton
First attested in 1303. From Middle English abaisen, abaishen, abashen (“to gape with surprise”) etc., from Anglo-Norman abaïss, from Middle French abair, abaïsser (“to astonish, alter”), from Old French esbaïr, ébahir, from es (“utterly”) + bair (“to astonish”), from Latin ex- (“out of”) + baer (“to gape”), from batāre (“to yawn, gape”).