English - Etymology
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”).
English - Pronunciation
- Rhymes: -æʃ
English - Verb
- (transitive) To make ashamed; to embarrass; to destroy the self-possession of, as by exciting suddenly a consciousness of guilt, mistake, or inferiority; to disconcert; to discomfit. [First attested from around (1150 to 1350).]
- (intransitive, obsolete) To lose self-possession; to become ashamed. [Attested from around (1350 to 1470) until the late 16th century.]
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.
English - References
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Lesley Brown (editor), The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition (Oxford University Press, 2003 , ISBN 978-0-19-860575-7), page 2
- ^ Philip Babcock Gove (editor), Webster's Third International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (G. & C. Merriam Co., 1976 , ISBN 0-87779-101-5), page 2
- ^ Christine A. Lindberg (editor), The Oxford College Dictionary, 2nd edition (Spark Publishing, 2007 , ISBN 978-1-4114-0500-4), page 2