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Embarrass   /ɪmbˈɛrəs/   Listen
Embarrass

verb
(past & past part. embarrassed; pres. part. embarrassing)
1.
Cause to be embarrassed; cause to feel self-conscious.  Synonym: abash.
2.
Hinder or prevent the progress or accomplishment of.  Synonyms: block, blockade, hinder, obstruct, stymie, stymy.



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"Embarrass" Quotes from Famous Books



... had been just, ought to have been charged at the times they severally became due,) was sent to the Resident, and payment thereof demanded, to the amount of 260,000l. sterling; which unexpected demand, in so distressed a situation, did not a little embarrass the Nabob. But whilst he and his ministers were examining into the said unexpected demand, another, and fifth balance, made up of similar forgotten articles, was demanded, to the amount of 140,000l. sterling more. Which said two last demands did so terrify and ...
— The Works Of The Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. IX. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... in that morning with the Indefatigable and Revolutionaire, and at noon came in sight of the enemy. At a quarter before five, when they had all got underway, he sent off Captain Cole to the Admiral, and remained with his own ship to observe and embarrass their movements. With a boldness which must have astonished them, accustomed though they had been to the daring manner in which he had watched their port; under easy sail, but with studding-sails ready ...
— The Life of Admiral Viscount Exmouth • Edward Osler

... theirs. What comes in through one bank will go out through others, and the equilibrium will be preserved. Should the bank, for the mere purpose of producing distress, press its debtors more heavily than some of them can bear, the consequences will recoil upon itself, and in the attempts to embarrass the country it will only bring loss and ruin upon the holders of its own stock. But if the President believed the bank possessed all the power which has been attributed to it, his determination would only be rendered the more inflexible. If, indeed, this corporation now holds in its hands ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Section 1 (of 2) of Volume 3: Andrew Jackson (Second Term) • James D. Richardson

... nominated for the Chambers by four districts at once, and, despite the government's efforts, he obtained a fourfold election. A vote of the Assembly declared the election valid. With unwonted self-command the Prince declined to take his seat, on the ground that it might embarrass the government in its difficult situation. His letter to the president of the Assembly ended with the significant declaration that if duties should be imposed upon him by the will of the people he would know how ...
— A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year - Volume Two (of Three) • Edwin Emerson

... half would find it inconvenient to occupy a sleeping room and three-quarters, I think my calculation will show you that the accounts of the insufficiency of lodging are gross and wicked exaggerations, only spread by designing persons to embarrass the Government. ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 1, October 23, 1841 • Various

... party playing requires another to find a given word—the name of town, river, state, or empire—any word, in short, upon the motley and perplexed surface of the chart. A novice in the game generally seeks to embarrass his opponents by giving them the most minutely lettered names; but the adept selects such words as stretch, in large characters, from one end of the chart to the other. These, like the over-largely lettered signs and placards of the street, escape observation ...
— The Short-story • William Patterson Atkinson

... great personages, and two or three ladies whom the Emperor designated to me with such minute details that it was impossible to mistake them, and told me some singular things in regard to them, which were not generally known, and were well calculated to embarrass them terribly. As I was starting, the Emperor called me back, saying, "Above all, Constant, take care to make no mistake, and do not confound Madame de M—— with her sister; they have almost exactly the same costume, but Madame de ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... it," I said. "You mean that Fred started with my nickname, and has been on this campaign of looking for telepaths among gypsies just in hopes he could embarrass me?" ...
— Tinker's Dam • Joseph Tinker

... Marie Louise from him by the vilest and most malicious insinuations; she was much annoyed that she could get no power over him. 'Besides,' said the Emperor, 'she is witty and intelligent enough to embarrass her husband, who was sure that she cared very little for him. Her face was agreeable and bright with a charm of its own. She was ...
— The Happy Days of the Empress Marie Louise • Imbert De Saint-Amand

... fifteen representatives of what had hitherto been Democratic constituencies, had combined with the Whigs to embarrass the Democratic delegation at Washington.[319] Their expectation seems to have been that they could thus force Senator Douglas to resign his seat, for he had been an uncompromising opponent of the Wilmot Proviso. Free-Soilers, Whigs, and Northern ...
— Stephen A. Douglas - A Study in American Politics • Allen Johnson

... was in attendance on this committee, supplying data, pointing out from personal knowledge sources of information, cross-examining witnesses to elicit the hidden truth. To embarrass this damaging exposure, Judge Lecompte issued a writ against the ex- Governor on a frivolous charge of contempt. Claiming but not receiving exemption from the committee, Beeder on his personal responsibility ...
— Abraham Lincoln: A History V1 • John G. Nicolay and John Hay

... right of the altar burning with incense; whereupon the Venerable Bede observes: "he appeared on the right as a sign that he was the bringer of divine mercy."[2232] But such things never occurred to the examiner. Thinking to embarrass Jeanne, he asked how she came to see the light if it appeared at her side.[2233] Jeanne made no reply, and as if distraught, ...
— The Life of Joan of Arc, Vol. 1 and 2 (of 2) • Anatole France

... to lead the conversation to Naples, but was foiled by Mrs. Capella's positive disinclination to discuss Italy on any pretext, and Miss Layton's natural desire not to embarrass ...
— The Stowmarket Mystery - Or, A Legacy of Hate • Louis Tracy

... she would have read in it at once how exactly he was at that instant feeling with her. More indignant than herself, for his high chivalrous devotion to the fair could ill endure the readiness with which the gentlemen, attendants at ottoman or sofa, lent their aid to mock and to embarrass every passing party of the city tribe, mothers and ...
— Helen • Maria Edgeworth

... that he was ashamed to undress, hung some quilts on the fence, thus converting the yard into a sort of room. It never occurred to her that her own presence might embarrass him. Walter was still not quite pleased with the outlook for a bath; but since yesterday he had been thinking of other things ...
— Walter Pieterse - A Story of Holland • Multatuli

... impressed by this, but said the calling of the conference was simply a political trick—the most detestable trick ever practised. It was done, he said mainly to embarrass Germany, to glorify the young Russian Emperor, and to put Germany and nations which Russia dislikes into a false position. To this I answered, "If this be the case, why not trump the Russian trick? or, as the poker-players say, 'Go them one better,' take them at their ...
— Autobiography of Andrew Dickson White Volume II • Andrew Dickson White

... a course from which recession with honor is impossible can hardly be questioned; that in the few weeks it has existed it has made earnest of the sincerity of its professions is undeniable. I shall not impugn its sincerity, nor should impatience be suffered to embarrass it in the task it has undertaken. It is honestly due to Spain and to our friendly relations with Spain that she should be given a reasonable chance to realize her expectations and to prove the asserted efficacy of the new order of things to which she stands ...
— Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents • William McKinley

... this requirement was that members having no pecuniary interest in a proposed law at the time of its inception should not embarrass the proceedings and pervert the result; but the inhibition is now thought to be sufficiently observed by formal public acceptance of a nominal bribe to vote one way or the other. It is of course understood ...
— The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce • Ambrose Bierce

... nothing than to-day, the present Ministry had been formed on one question and on one question alone, and that was the rights of the Irish nation.' With Mr. Gladstone in office, the policy of the League was to apply the policy of silence so often inculcated by Mr. Parnell. Speaking out might only embarrass their ...
— The Quarterly Review, Volume 162, No. 324, April, 1886 • Various

... front. That the result was a drawn battle, and not a Southern defeat, was due to Lee's generalship and Jackson's fighting. The retrograde movement to the lowland followed, and Jackson was left in the Valley to embarrass McClellan's advance. In this he perfectly succeeded, and then suddenly reappeared at Fredericksburg, where he received and repulsed one of the two great assaults of the enemy. The battle of Chancellorsville followed, and Lee's statement ...
— A Life of Gen. Robert E. Lee • John Esten Cooke

... if he chose still to embarrass himself with business, I supposed it would be more to his satisfaction to be in his own country, and where his family was so well known, and ...
— The Fortunate Mistress (Parts 1 and 2) • Daniel Defoe

... hand to his lips. Then he led her around to the porch, and bade her a tender good-night. He would not embarrass her ...
— A Little Girl in Old Boston • Amanda Millie Douglas

... "you embarrass me dreadfully. You see, I haven't thought much about you. However, if you like, I'll study you for a week ...
— Claire - The Blind Love of a Blind Hero, By a Blind Author • Leslie Burton Blades

... arrangement was lost sight of, and the noblest melodies were likely to be lavished on the most unworthy situations. Even under the operatic form he remained essentially the song-writer. So in the symphony his affluence of melodic inspiration seems actually to embarrass him, to the detriment of that breadth and symmetry of treatment so vital to this form of art. It is in the musical lyric that ...
— The Great German Composers • George T. Ferris

... material with which the will has to work is the emotions of love and of malice; but in the case of man this malice tends to destroy the poetry of common life, while in the case of woman it tends to obstruct and embarrass her soul when the magic of the apex-thought stirs within her and an opportunity arises for that creative act which puts the complex vision in touch with the vision ...
— The Complex Vision • John Cowper Powys

... seems to have been an ill-balanced nature, soon buoyed up by enthusiasms, and as speedily depressed by their evaporation; endowed with enough of learning and culture to be a Voltairean and write second-rate verses; and with a talent for intrigue which sufficed to embarrass his never very affluent fortunes. Napoleon certainly derived no world-compelling qualities from his father: for these he was indebted to the wilder strain which ran in his mother's blood. The father doubtless saw in the French connection a chance of worldly advancement and of liberation ...
— The Life of Napoleon I (Volumes, 1 and 2) • John Holland Rose

... statement never showed to better advantage; he was, as always, moderate and reasonable; but above all the wonderful element was the quick wit and ready skill with which he turned to his own service every query which was designed to embarrass him; and this he did not in the vulgar way of flippant retort or disingenuous twistings of words or facts, but with the same straightforward and tranquil simplicity of language with which he delivered evidence for the friendly examiners. ...
— Benjamin Franklin • John Torrey Morse, Jr.

... a great error in politics. The shrewd Canadians knew them better. They complained with bitterness, that at the first appearance of a war, they would hold their oaths of fealty as naught, or that if they did remain, it would only be with a view to embarrass the province with their presence, and secretly to serve the cause of their native country. The event proved that they knew their men. Scarcely had the American declaration of war gone forth, when ...
— The Canadian Brothers - or The Prophecy Fulfilled • John Richardson

... commit the following pages to press, without being in the least concerned about the severe criticisms of the latter. I further declare, that the order of time and disposition of the facts, which give more trouble to the writer than pleasure to the reader, shall not much embarrass me in these Memoirs. It being my design to convey a just idea of my hero, those circumstances which most tend to illustrate and distinguish his character shall find a place in these fragments just as they present themselves to my imagination, without paying ...
— The Memoirs of Count Grammont, Complete • Anthony Hamilton

... good enough to forget that The Brothers is poetry. The Brothers is a short story, with a plain, clear plot. Read it as such. Read it simply for the story. It is very important at this critical stage that you should not embarrass your mind with preoccupations as to the form in which Wordsworth has told his story. Wordsworth's object was to tell a story as well as he could: just that. In reading aloud do not pay any more ...
— Literary Taste: How to Form It • Arnold Bennett

... concluded to propose for the oldest daughter of the King of Denmark and he entered into negotiations for this purpose. This plan, however, did not please the government of England, and Elizabeth, who was then the English queen, managed so to embarrass and interfere with the scheme, that the King of Denmark gave his daughter to another claimant. James was a man of very mild and quiet temperament, easily counteracted and thwarted in his plans; but this disappointment aroused his energies, and he sent a splendid embassy into Denmark to ...
— Charles I - Makers of History • Jacob Abbott

... taken in the partition of Poland; nobody had painted so convincingly as he had, the political and social demoralisation of Poland. Bismarck then dwelt on the want of patriotism in the House, which in the middle of complicated negotiations did not scruple to embarrass their own Government. "No English House of Commons," he said, "would have acted as they did," a statement to which we cannot assent; an English Opposition would have acted exactly as the majority of the Prussian Parliament did. When a Minister is in agreement with the House on the general ...
— Bismarck and the Foundation of the German Empire • James Wycliffe Headlam

... her knees; fishing, as the English say, for compliments, which she never caught; dressed in clothes that were exaggerated in style, and yet ill cared for; mistaking want of good manners for dignity, and trying to embarrass others by paying no attention to them; refusing what she desired in order to have it offered again, and to seem to yield only to entreaty; concerned about matters that others have done with, and surprised at not being in the fashion; and finally, unable to get through an hour without ...
— Beatrix • Honore de Balzac

... not tell what may come to you in the future, what honor or promotion; and you can not afford to take chances upon having anything in your history which can come up to embarrass you or to keep you back. A thing which you now look upon as a bit of pleasure may come up in the future to hamper your progress. The thing you do to-day while trying to have a good time may come up to block your ...
— Pushing to the Front • Orison Swett Marden

... would be assumed hereafter by Mr. Harley that Richard, because of his confidential relations with Mr. Gwynn, must know the history of those shares. Richard did not care to have such a thought take hold on Mr. Harley; it might later embarrass both Mr. Harley and Richard when the latter called at the Harley house, as he meant shortly to do. Finally he hit upon an idea; he would employ the worthy name of Mr. Fopling. The secret would be safe with one who, like Mr. Fopling, could never ...
— The President - A novel • Alfred Henry Lewis

... you always keep between us, and give me leave to convince you! Why will you insist upon deliberately keeping up a barrier raised in the beginning when I was too stupidly at home in your cousin's house to see that I might embarrass you? Frankly, do you ...
— The Garden, You, and I • Mabel Osgood Wright

... hand-in-hand and silent, like two frightened children placed at the centre of the earth. There was not a sound, not a gleam. Sera-phina bore the crushing strain of this perfect and black stillness in an almost heroic immobility; but, as to me, it seemed to lie upon my limbs, to embarrass my breathing like a numbness full of dread; and to shake that feeling off I jumped up repeatedly to look at that luminous bead, that point of light no bigger than a pearl in the infinity of darkness. And once, just as I was looking, it shut and opened at me slowly, like the deliberate drooping ...
— Romance • Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

... mistaking him for an itinerant, the great statesman stopped, peeped through the aperture, and then passing out a tuppence moved along blissfully unaware of his error, for Herschel being a perfect gentleman would not embarrass the great ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great - Volume 12 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Scientists • Elbert Hubbard

... in almost as much danger from his own friends as from the enemy. He was careful to whom he disclosed his identity or his plans, for fear that they might indiscreetly comment on his presence or embarrass him even by their willingness to befriend him. So it was that he proceeded secretly, picking his way by stealth, and actually doing much ...
— Robert Toombs - Statesman, Speaker, Soldier, Sage • Pleasant A. Stovall

... derivatives I have been careful to insert and elucidate the anomalous plurals of nouns and preterites of verbs, which in the Teutonick dialects are very frequent, and though familiar to those who have always used them, interrupt and embarrass the learners of ...
— Preface to a Dictionary of the English Language • Samuel Johnson

... possibility had come from that quarter, and it came in backing a suggestion which Redmond could not accept. I was not present at the debate, and it is hard to judge of such matters from the printed record, but the impression on my mind is that the suggestion was made without any desire to embarrass. A few days later, in the Committee stage, an Ulster member moved an amendment which would have included Ireland. Mr. Bonar Law, speaking for the Government, advised against it—on the ground of expediency; it would not be an easy thing to put this measure ...
— John Redmond's Last Years • Stephen Gwynn

... The Hague Conference, Count Munster, in his frequent diatribes against its whole purpose, and especially against arbitration, was wont to insist that the whole thing was a scheme prepared by Pobedonostzeff to embarrass Germany; that, as Russia was always wretchedly unready with her army, The Hague Conference was simply a trick for gaining time against her rivals who kept up better military preparations. There may have been truth in part of this assertion; but the motive of the great Russian statesman in favoring ...
— Autobiography of Andrew Dickson White Volume II • Andrew Dickson White

... extensive knowledge of glass-making. I was almost dead with despair. My parents were surprised at my apparent want of progress in my medical studies, (I had not attended one lecture since my arrival in the city,) and the expenses of my mad pursuit had been so great as to embarrass me ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. I., No. 3, January 1858 - A Magazine of Literature, Art, and Politics • Various

... start thence with ponies for the ascent of Helvellyn. The innkeeper saw them coming, and accosted Scott with "Eh, Sir! ye're come early for your draught to-day!"—a disclosure which was not likely to embarrass his host at all. Wordsworth was probably the least-discomposed member of the party.—Charles Lamb and his sister once popped in unannounced on Coleridge at Keswick, and spent three weeks in the neighborhood. We can all fancy the little man on the top of Skiddaw, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 7, No. 43, May, 1861 • Various

... favorable circumstances palliate or atone for the disadvantages of dissension in the executive department. Here, they are pure and unmixed. There is no point at which they cease to operate. They serve to embarrass and weaken the execution of the plan or measure to which they relate, from the first step to the final conclusion of it. They constantly counteract those qualities in the Executive which are the most necessary ingredients ...
— The Federalist Papers • Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison

... of interruption did not so much embarrass her, but once or twice she was nearly thrown off her beam-ends by men and boys shouting, 'Wot's the matter with yer anyway? Can't yer get a husband?' and such-like brilliant relevancies. Although she flushed at some of these sallies, she stuck to her guns ...
— The Convert • Elizabeth Robins

... are nearing the end. These two days have been for him days of great trouble; one can see that very clearly. And he has done nothing to embarrass us. Men in distress are apt to be a nuisance. I am grateful to M. Wethermill. But we are nearing the end. Who knows? Within an hour or two we may have ...
— At the Villa Rose • A. E. W. Mason

... On approaching the ranch, as was customary, we prepared to encamp and ask for a rodeo. But in the choice of a vaquero to be dispatched on this mission, a spirited rivalry sprang up. When Uncle Lance learned that the rivalry amongst the vaqueros was meant to embarrass Enrique Lopez, who was oso to Anita, the pretty daughter of the corporal of Santa Maria, his matchmaking instincts came to the fore. Calling Enrique to one side, he made the vaquero confess that he had been playing ...
— A Texas Matchmaker • Andy Adams

... principle in the constitution of bodies, I cannot mislead myself or others, because I use one and the same term to denote only one and the same unknown cause of certain well-known effects. But if I say that fire is a principle in the constitution of bodies, I must, at least, embarrass myself with the distinction of fire in a state of action, and fire inactive, or quiescent. Besides I think the term phlogiston preferable to that of fire, because it is not in common use, but confined to philosophy; so that ...
— Experiments and Observations on Different Kinds of Air • Joseph Priestley

... on, and was well received. She did not again look at Andy, possibly fearing to embarrass him. And then, as she retired after her last number—a veritable whirlwind song—there came a thunder of applause, mingled with shrill whistles, ...
— Andy at Yale - The Great Quadrangle Mystery • Roy Eliot Stokes

... safer distance when he saw the coast was clear. Maxwell had a shrewd suspicion that the boy had taken himself off believing it might embarrass Maxwell less if any of the ladies should ...
— Hepsey Burke • Frank Noyes Westcott

... is of no import. Make it as easy as possible for yourselves. I have no religion and do not care for any service. If the omission would embarrass you I presume I could stand the performance. [Note Jim's keen sense of humour even ...
— Flying for France • James R. McConnell

... up position at Malplaquet, the right and the left supported by two woods, with hedges and woods before the centre, so that the plain was, as it were, cut in two. Marlborough and Prince Eugene marched in their turn, fearing lest Villars should embarrass them as they went towards Mons, which place they had resolved to besiege. They sent on a large detachment of their army, under the command of the Prince of Hesse, to watch ours. He arrived in sight of the camp at Malpladuet at the same time that we entered it, and was quickly ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... went on. "She sets something that is not you above you. Is that love? how can we women find anything to value in ourselves except that which you value in us? No woman, no matter how fine a moralist she may be, is the equal of a man. Tread upon us, kill us; never embarrass your lives on our account. It is for us to die, for you to live, great and honored. For us the dagger in your hand; for you our pardoning love. Does the sun think of the gnats in his beams, that live by his light? they stay as long as they can and when he withdraws ...
— The Lily of the Valley • Honore de Balzac

... so when Gordon arrived at Point de Galle on the 16th June, he found the following telegram awaiting him, "Leave granted on your engaging to take no military service in China;" to which he replied, "I will take no military service in China; I would never embarrass the British Government." ...
— General Gordon - A Christian Hero • Seton Churchill

... aloud at her pretty confusion. Arethusa's nervous fingers crumbled up a perfectly good slice of bread until it could be of no use of any kind to anybody, her head still bent. If the Situation had such charm, it had not lost altogether the power to embarrass, when Words that could cause such Thoughts were softly spoken by a ...
— The Heart of Arethusa • Francis Barton Fox

... to the attempts of the Evil Spirits to embarrass the labours of the luminary which is eclipsed. "The first lunar eclipse," says Adair, "I saw, after I lived with the Indians, was among the Cherokees in 1736; and, during the continuance of it, their conduct appeared surprising to one who had not seen the like before; they all ...
— Traditions of the North American Indians, Vol. 1 (of 3) • James Athearn Jones

... complete education, this child's play was the only thing I could find by which I could hope to earn my bread. A few savings, my own purse, slender like that of most young men, served to buy my first outfit and I installed myself here far away, in the remotest region of Paris, in order not to embarrass my relatives. Between ourselves, I don't expect to make a fortune out of photography. The first days especially were very difficult. Nobody came, or if by chance some unfortunate wight did mount, I made a failure of him, got on my ...
— The Nabob • Alphonse Daudet

... beaten enemy. Yet that pleasure, one would think, could scarcely atone for the constant presence among them of an uninvited guest—a guest, too, who had not much choice in the matter of personal cleanliness. However, trifles of that nature did not greatly embarrass folk in days innocent of sanitary science. As for Lowes, it must have been difficult so to act consistent with the maintenance of any shred of dignity, or of conciliatory cheerfulness. If, for example, the cook should happen of a morning to have got out of bed "wrong foot first," how often must the ...
— Stories of the Border Marches • John Lang and Jean Lang

... was experienced by both Van Helsing and myself. Mrs. Harker had sent a message by her husband to say that she would not join us at present, as she thought it better that we should be free to discuss our movements without her presence to embarrass us. The Professor and I looked at each other for an instant, and somehow we both seemed relieved. For my own part, I thought that if Mrs. Harker realized the danger herself, it was much pain as well as much danger averted. Under the circumstances we agreed, by a questioning ...
— Dracula • Bram Stoker

... his and his hand near to hers, just touching the outside of her palm. Her ring sparkled and the three little pearls smiled at her. As he breathed she breathed too, and it seemed to her that their bodies rose and fell as one body. Without looking directly at him, which would, she knew, embarrass him before all those hungry people behind her, she could out of the corner of her eye see the ruddy brown of his cheek and the hard thick curve of his shoulder. She was his, she belonged to no one else in the world, she was his utterly. Utterly. Ever so swiftly and ...
— The Captives • Hugh Walpole

... contemptible print, the Chicago Times, was instilling treason into the minds of its readers, and doing all that it could to embarrass the Government, discourage patriotism, and to give aid and comfort to the rebels; our victories, with that sheet, were always unimportant; our cause was unholy; our President a despot; our Union soldiers were hirelings; our Union-loving citizens were abolition fanatics; Jeff Davis was ...
— The Great North-Western Conspiracy In All Its Startling Details • I. Windslow Ayer

... those tender-hearted, brave and gracious men and women, and of those dear old darkies, I very often write with tears in my eyes. I tell you this with careful airiness because it is true and because it would embarrass me so horribly if you ...
— The Rivet in Grandfather's Neck - A Comedy of Limitations • James Branch Cabell

... House, naturally head the list, and their colleagues follow in a rather uncertain order. A Minister's place in this list is mainly governed by the question whether he dines at the House or not. If he dines away and "pairs," of course he does not in the least jeopardize his party or embarrass his colleagues; but "pairs" are not indicated in the list of divisions, and, as divisions have an awkward knack of happening between nine and ten, the habitual diner-out naturally sinks in the list. If he is a ...
— Collections and Recollections • George William Erskine Russell

... universal impotence, to prescribe the conditions of our political existence; and as they have a common interest in being our carriers, and still more in preventing our becoming theirs, they would in all probability combine to embarrass our navigation in such a manner as would in effect destroy it, and confine us to a PASSIVE COMMERCE. We should then be compelled to content ourselves with the first price of our commodities, and to see the profits of our trade snatched from us to enrich our enemies and persecutors. That unequaled ...
— The Federalist Papers • Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison

... military picture fully outlined, and worthy to compete in the Academy of Fine Arts of Dresden. But one passage of the text is somewhat obscure and might embarrass the artist—"Women and children, holding their lamps, were compelled to assist at this horrible spectacle." What spectacle?—the shooting, or the counting of the corpses? To get some certainty on this historic point, the artist should ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 2, May, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... something be done about the public amusements? If it was represented to Pitt, it might embarrass them either way; particularly as it might call for a public account every day. I think the Chancellor might take a good opportunity to break with his colleagues, if they propose restriction, the Law authority would have great ...
— Memoirs of the Life of Rt. Hon. Richard Brinsley Sheridan Vol 2 • Thomas Moore

... Madame Sipiagin continued smiling to him; her husband nodded his head patronisingly. Kollomietzev stuck his monocle between his eyebrow and nose and stared at the student who dared not to share his "fears." But it was difficult to embarrass Nejdanov in this way; on the contrary, he instantly sat up straight, and in his turn fixed his gaze on the fashionable official. Just as instinctively as he had felt Mariana to be a comrade, so he felt Kollomietzev to be an enemy! ...
— Virgin Soil • Ivan S. Turgenev

... bankruptcy at the instance of unrelenting creditors. People are now so easily alarmed as to monetary matters that the mere filing of a petition in bankruptcy by an unfriendly creditor will necessarily embarrass, and oftentimes accomplish the financial ruin, of a responsible business man. Those who otherwise might make lawful and just arrangements to relieve themselves from difficulties produced by the present stringency in money ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents: Ulysses S. Grant • James D. Richardson

... Court, as we learn by the return of the courier mentioned in our last. We have, by letters to our correspondents at the several ports, done all in our power to prevent such mischiefs for the future, a copy of which we herewith send you. The European maritime powers embarrass themselves, as well as us, by the double part their politics oblige them to act; being in their hearts our friends, and wishing us success, they would allow us every use of their ports consistent with their ...
— The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, Vol. I • Various

... Vergennes acquaints the Chevalier de la Luzerne, that he hopes the Superintendent will not have drawn more than the before mentioned half million of livres. He wishes it the more earnestly, as bills for a greater sum would embarrass the finances of France in a great degree, the goods delivered to Colonel Laurens exceeding already the sum remaining out of the six millions, and the goods taken on board the Marquis de ...
— The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, Vol. XI • Various

... Hausee in my character of the late Archduke's Agent. Our conversation was purely in connection with H.I.H.'s money matters, although he said with great firmness at the close, "The Archduchess will never embarrass Alberian affairs. Her taste is not for Courts or politics." I know this is his true conviction, but he is in love, and he measures her by his own unselfishness. He won my heart strangely. In all my experience, he is the one honest man who is not a little idiotic into the ...
— Robert Orange - Being a Continuation of the History of Robert Orange • John Oliver Hobbes

... prudence of this judicious class is far from exempting them from the dominion of chance, a subtle and insidious power, who will intrude upon privacy and embarrass caution. No course of life is so prescribed and limited, but that many actions must result from arbitrary election. Every one must form the general plan of his conduct by his own reflections; he must resolve whether he will endeavour at riches or at content; whether he will exercise private ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson - Volume IV [The Rambler and The Adventurer] • Samuel Johnson

... near-sighted, and had always worn spectacles. She took them off and laid them on her knee. The parson moved involuntarily in his chair. He remembered how she had used to do that when they were talking intimately, so that his eager look might not embarrass her. "Nothing makes much difference when folks get to be as old ...
— Tiverton Tales • Alice Brown

... Butler, Capt. Kendall hastened back to England to lay his case before the London Company, and to seek equity. The Earl of Warwick appeared in court, and claimed the Negroes as his property, as having belonged to his ship, "The Treasurer." Every thing that would embarrass Kendall was introduced by the earl. At length, as a final resort, charges were formally preferred against him, and the matter referred to Butler for decision. Capt. Kendall did not fail to appreciate the gravity of his case, when charges were preferred ...
— History of the Negro Race in America From 1619 to 1880. Vol 1 - Negroes as Slaves, as Soldiers, and as Citizens • George W. Williams

... that he cannot, Jones; the enemy would grow stronger every day, while we should become weaker. The enemy would not attack until we should begin to retreat; then they would embarrass our retreat and endeavour to ...
— Who Goes There? • Blackwood Ketcham Benson

... profess to sincerely love her husband, and to be a true wife, when she is spending his hard earnings for gold and pearls, and costly apparel for adornment? he to struggle against poverty, and she to embarrass him to satisfy a proud, selfish heart? Such is not true love to husband nor to God. The wife who adorns herself with modesty and sobriety (1 Tim. 2:9), with a meek and quiet spirit (1 Pet. 3:4, 5), with good works (1 ...
— The Gospel Day • Charles Ebert Orr

... claim upon Welbeck which can embarrass you. On that score, you are free from any molestation from me or my friends. I have suspected you of being an accomplice in some vile plot, and am now inclined to acquit you; but that is all that you must expect from me, till your character be established by other means than your ...
— Arthur Mervyn - Or, Memoirs of the Year 1793 • Charles Brockden Brown

... it comes to frightening crows, I'll even agree to sit on a stump with my musket across my knees and watch you work. 'Tis a good place for a sentinel—to keep the crows from picking yet more bones than these which will embarrass you in your ...
— The Mississippi Bubble • Emerson Hough

... State of Maine to pursue a course best calculated to avoid all excitement and collision between the citizens of that State and the inhabitants of New Brunswick, or which would tend in any manner to embarrass the mediatorial action of their two Governments on the subject; but it can not be expected, if the authorities of New Brunswick still persevere in attempting to exercise jurisdiction over the disputed territory ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Section 2 (of 2) of Volume 3: Martin Van Buren • James D. Richardson

... Erie Station in the morning. Strong knew him too well to count on his keeping the engagement, but could do no more, and they both left the club to make their preparations. Strong had another duty. Before stirring further, he must talk with Hazard. The affair was rapidly taking a shape that might embarrass them both. ...
— Esther • Henry Adams

... said he; "memory is a chaste thing. I know that, and I will not embarrass you by my presence. I will wait here and watch for you. So long as I know you are close by me I do not fear to lose you. Go, dear, and come ...
— The Companions of Jehu • Alexandre Dumas

... out a hurriedly-written article, evidently designed to purge itself of all suspicion of complicity in my work. This was entirely unnecessary. I myself am responsible for what I write, I and no one else. I cannot possibly embarrass any party, for to no party do I belong. I stand like a solitary franc-tireur at the outposts, and fight for my own hand. The only man in Norway who has stood up freely, frankly, and courageously for me is ...
— Ghosts • Henrik Ibsen

... and then Tabitha said, "Janice." For some reason the name seemed to embarrass her, for the moment ...
— Janice Meredith • Paul Leicester Ford

... weight of the tree once settled down on them. Jane was near at hand. I knew she would reach us in a very few moments. It was nothing, Mrs. Livingston. I didn't wish to speak of it. Please don't say anything to the girls about it unless you wish to embarrass me," added Harriet, laughing. "I have been more conspicuous already than I like. You see they have not forgotten ...
— The Meadow-Brook Girls Under Canvas • Janet Aldridge

... fact, the editor, with fear and trembling, held the news for a day, so that he might not embarrass his fair representative, but so anxious was he, that he sat up all night until the other papers were out, and he heaved a sigh of relief when, on glancing over them, he found that not one of them contained an inkling of the information locked up in his desk. And so ...
— Jennie Baxter, Journalist • Robert Barr

... set his mind on a union with the eldest daughter of the king of Denmark, she contrived to interpose so many delays and obstacles that this sovereign, conceiving himself trifled with, ended the affair by giving the princess in marriage to another. To embarrass matters still more, she next proposed to James a match with the sister of the king of Navarre, a princess much older than himself, destitute of fortune, and whose brother might be influenced to protract the negotiation to any length ...
— Memoirs of the Court of Queen Elizabeth • Lucy Aikin

... long as Providence vouchsafes to me strength to continue at the head of the firm, we should know how to manage him, yet I would not embarrass you with a companion in whom we ...
— Skipper Worse • Alexander Lange Kielland

... interval of absolute silence, which, did not seem to embarrass either visited or ...
— Slippy McGee, Sometimes Known as the Butterfly Man • Marie Conway Oemler

... in the Transvaal," and expressed their hope "that Her Majesty might be pleased to grant the prayer of her subjects." Queensland, Victoria, and New South Wales had all three offered military contingents by July 21st;[147] the other colonies refrained only from a desire not to embarrass the Home Government in its negotiations with the Transvaal. Whatever good effect was produced upon the public opinion of the continent of Europe and the United States of America by the obvious reluctance of the British Government to make war upon a ...
— Lord Milner's Work in South Africa - From its Commencement in 1897 to the Peace of Vereeniging in 1902 • W. Basil Worsfold

... to himself, "this must be cleared up." And under a pretext, which did not embarrass the musketeer, who was fertile in expedients, he left the table, went downstairs, ran to the shed under which stood the poet's little cart, poked the point of his poniard into the stuff which enveloped one of the packages, which ...
— Ten Years Later - Chapters 1-104 • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... the young engineer seemed to be rather bewildered by the job of work before him, and therefore he rode on, not stopping to embarrass him by any inspection of his work. In process of time no doubt so much of the top of Ballydahan Hill was carried to the bottom as made the whole road altogether impassable for many months. But the great object was gained; the men ...
— Castle Richmond • Anthony Trollope

... consequently hypothetical. And, last of all, idealism takes up the ball and declares, that this hypothetical matter is not only problematical, but that it is non-existent. These are the perplexities which rise up to embarrass reason whenever she is weak enough to accept from philosophers their analysis of the perception of matter. They are only the just punishment of her infatuated facility. But what has Reid done to extricate ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 62, No. 382, October 1847 • Various

... the ass had disguised himself as a gipsy, being able to speak the gipsy language, and many more, as well as if they were his own. Sancho saw him and recognised him, and the instant he did so he shouted to him, "Ginesillo, you thief, give up my treasure, release my life, embarrass thyself not with my repose, quit my ass, leave my delight, be off, rip, get thee gone, thief, and give ...
— Don Quixote • Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

... me that more valuable bread of knowledge. I am strongly tempted to give the names of two or three of those little boys, as a testimonial of the gratitude and affection I bear them; but prudence forbids;—not that it would injure me, but it might embarrass them; for it is almost an unpardonable offence to teach slaves to read in this Christian country. It is enough to say of the dear little fellows, that they lived on Philpot Street, very near Durgin and Bailey's ship-yard. I used to talk this matter of slavery ...
— The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass - An American Slave • Frederick Douglass

... etymology nor the exact meaning of the word "to pose," are easy to determine. It seems to be abbreviated from the old verb "to appose;" which meant, to set a task, to subject to an examination or interrogatory; and hence to perplex, to embarrass, to puzzle. The latter is the common meaning of the word to pose; thus ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 66, February 1, 1851 • Various

... employments which he and his duchess enjoyed. The duke, understanding that the commons were heated by the subject, begged her majesty would rather forego her gracious message in his behalf, than create any uneasiness on his account, which might embarrass her affairs, and be of ill consequence to the public. Then she sent another message to the house, signifying that the duke of Marlborough had declined her interposition. Notwithstanding this declaration, the commons in a body presented an address, acknowledging the eminent services ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.II. - From William and Mary to George II. • Tobias Smollett

... what troubles you is that, probably, when a good number of those women have confessed to you what they had done with their confessor, you have not asked them how long it was since they had sinned with him, and in spite of yourselves you think that I am the guilty man. This does, naturally, embarrass you when you are in my presence and at my table. But please ask them, when they come again to confess, how many months or years have passed away since their last love affair with a confessor, and you will see that you may suppose that you are in the house of an ...
— The Priest, The Woman And The Confessional • Father Chiniquy

... would apologise, if necessary. Now, no apologies were needed. When one nation apologises to another, millions of amateurs who have no earthly concern with the difficulty hurl themselves into the strife and embarrass the trained specialist. It was requested that the crew be found, if they were still alive—they had been eight months beyond knowledge—and it was promised that ...
— The Day's Work, Volume 1 • Rudyard Kipling

... Higher Plane—and keep it there. We two love one another—that has to be admitted now. (I ought never to have touched her. I ought never to have thought of touching her.) But we two are too high, our aims and work and obligations are too high for any ordinary love making. That sort of thing would embarrass us, would ...
— The Secret Places of the Heart • H. G. Wells

... cautious young man; and he felt what the mother could not perceive,—a certain atmosphere about the charming girl which was a continual repression to him. In the end, he determined to win her, win her entirely, heart and hand; therefore he did not wish to embarrass his subsequent wooing by having to surmount at the outset the barrier of a premature "no." And, as yet, his jealousy of Captain Hyde was superficial and intermitting; it had not entered his mind that an English officer could possibly ...
— The Bow of Orange Ribbon - A Romance of New York • Amelia E. Barr

... not remain long to embarrass his brother in London. With the same roving disposition and inconsiderate temper of Oliver, he suddenly departed in a humble capacity to seek his fortune in the West Indies, and nothing was heard of him for above thirty years, when, after having been given up ...
— Oliver Goldsmith • Washington Irving

... every thing like silent effect is almost entirely excluded from their domain of dramatic art. The only leisure which remains for the actor for his silent pantomime is during the delivery of the long discourses addressed to him, when, however, it more frequently serves to embarrass him than assists him in the development of his part. They are satisfied if the web of the intrigue keeps uninterruptedly in advance of their own quickness of tact, and if in the speeches and answers the shuttle flies diligently backwards ...
— Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature • August Wilhelm Schlegel

... your breath. I am not giving a thousand livres for an 'Absolvo te.' Perhaps, after all," and the marquis smiled maliciously, "I am giving you this money to embarrass Monsieur du Rosset, the most devout Catholic in Rochelle. I have heard that he has ...
— The Grey Cloak • Harold MacGrath

... Bill would be brought in to accelerate Registration? Terms of question being set forth on printed paper, not necessary for the SAGE to recite them. For this he seemed grateful. It relieved him from the pain of appearing to embarrass Prince ARTHUR by a reference to awkward matters. No one could feel acutely hurt at being asked "Question No. 8." So the SAGE, half rising from his seat—so delicate was his forbearance, that he would not impose his full height on the ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 102, May 7, 1892 • Various

... give me anything you see fit," he declared, "and I sha'n't embarrass you by refusing. On the contrary, go as strongly ...
— Flowing Gold • Rex Beach

... be too," muttered Jimmy, as he went away, leaving Theodore to think over the failure of his attempt. He was not much surprised, though he had not expected quite such a clean sweep on Carrots' part, and the loss was not heavy enough to embarrass him at all. At Mr. Scott's suggestion, Theo had begun to deposit his extra earnings in a savings bank and he had enough on hand to easily replace the dishes and utensils lost, but he was disappointed and disheartened. ...
— The Bishop's Shadow • I. T. Thurston

... alluded to by historians. Those works which had been given up to Napoleon previous to the opening of hostilities, contributed very much to the success of his arms; while those which had been retained by Spain and her allies contributed in an equal degree to fetter and embarrass his operations. Some of these, like Saragossa, Tarragona, Gerona, Tortosa, &c. &c., with their broken walls and defective armaments, kept the enemy in check for months; and, by compelling the French to resort to the tedious ...
— Elements of Military Art and Science • Henry Wager Halleck

... is that all productive industries were active because of the enormous demand made by the army for supplies of all kinds, and everyone who was willing to work could find plenty of employment. The depreciation of the currency caused by the war did not embarrass anyone, as the interest on securities was promptly paid in coin, and greenbacks were the favorite currency of the people. The people did not stop to inquire the causes of the nominal advance in prices; they only knew that the United States ...
— Recollections of Forty Years in the House, Senate and Cabinet - An Autobiography. • John Sherman

... he were determined still further to imperil the chances of his family, and to embarrass his adherents. The right moment for a movement in his favor had been allowed to pass away, and now, with characteristic blundering and ill fortune, he seized upon the most unsuitable time that could possibly have been employed for such an attempt. Something might have been done, ...
— A History of the Four Georges, Volume I (of 4) • Justin McCarthy

... serves its purposes. It is more concerned with what a man pays his employees than with what he puts into the plate at the collection. The man who can put all his piety into the prayer-meeting and the services of the church never has enough seriously to embarrass ...
— Levels of Living - Essays on Everyday Ideals • Henry Frederick Cope

... the battle-day, caught sight more than two leagues away of the glint of sunlight on cannon and bayonets toward Sudley Springs, and sent timely notice to Beauregard that a Federal column was turning his left. Under my eye the landscape was unchanged, with no smoothings or intrusions to embarrass the imagination in making the scene real. But it was in the Wilderness that I felt especially grateful that the wild thickets for the most part had been let alone. I found at Fredericksburg an old Confederate, one of Mahone's command, ...
— The Last Leaf - Observations, during Seventy-Five Years, of Men and Events in America - and Europe • James Kendall Hosmer

... criticism of "the Party," no matter how just, honest or well-intended. In April 1910, Sinn Fein announced, on behalf of its Party, that Mr John Redmond, having now the chance of a lifetime to obtain Home Rule, "will be given a free hand, without a word said to embarrass him." Sinn Fein took no part in the elections of 1910. "This," says Mr Henry, "was not purely an act of self-sacrifice. In fact, Sinn Fein was never at so low an ebb." Its attitude towards the Home Rule, ...
— Ireland Since Parnell • Daniel Desmond Sheehan

... Bagnet hospitably declares that he will hear of no business until after dinner and that his friend shall not partake of his counsel without first partaking of boiled pork and greens. The trooper yielding to this invitation, he and Mr. Bagnet, not to embarrass the domestic preparations, go forth to take a turn up and down the little street, which they promenade with measured tread and folded arms, as if it ...
— Bleak House • Charles Dickens

... independent members of the great family of nations. But the unsettled condition of some of them, distracted by frequent revolutions, and thus incapable of regular and firm internal administration, has tended to embarrass occasionally our public intercourse by reason of wrongs which our citizens suffer at their hands, and which they are slow ...
— State of the Union Addresses of Franklin Pierce • Franklin Pierce

... her imploringly]. 'And I don't care how they may embarrass the Government.' [The COMTESSE is bereft of speech, so suddenly has she been introduced to the real MAGGIE SHAND]. 'If the right honourable gentleman will give us his pledge to introduce a similar Bill this session I will willingly withdraw mine; but otherwise ...
— What Every Woman Knows • James M. Barrie

... But my mule's back will not bear all that you require, Joseph answered. Our mule! cried the proselytes; all property is held in common. Even the fact of my mule having become common property, Joseph said, will not enable him to carry more than his customary burden, and the goods will embarrass me. If the mule belongs to the community, then I am the mule driver, the provider of the community. Constituted such by thy knowledge of the aptitudes and temper and strength of the animal! cried ...
— The Brook Kerith - A Syrian story • George Moore

... Gondremark is the incarnation of the free lodges, and sits at the centre of an organised conspiracy against the state. To any such movement my sympathies were early acquired, and I would not willingly let fall a word that might embarrass or retard the revolution. But to show that I speak of knowledge, and not as the reporter of mere gossip, I may mention that I have myself been present at a meeting where the details of a republican Constitution ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 7 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... me Aunt, to overcome the formal Miss, and I wish she were my daughter. I'm only wondering if her high, unworldly standpoint, absorbed from wise teachers, and the halo that she has constructed from imagination and desire about her parents during the years of her separation from them, will not embarrass them a little, now that she is at ...
— People of the Whirlpool • Mabel Osgood Wright

... Commons overturns the Ministry of the day and changes the whole British and Imperial administration. A hostile vote, therefore, determined by the Irish Members, on a question affecting Ireland, such as the application to Ireland of a British Bill, would seriously embarrass the Ministry, if it did not overturn it. The log-rolling and illicit pressure which this state of things would encourage may be easily imagined. A Ministry might find itself after a General Election in the position of having a majority for ...
— The Framework of Home Rule • Erskine Childers

... then Ham went. Presently they brought her to the fireside, very much confused, and very shy,—but she soon became more assured when she found how gently and respectfully Steerforth spoke to her; how skilfully he avoided anything that would embarrass her; how he talked to Mr. Peggotty of boats, and ships, and tides, and fish; how he referred to me about the time when he had seen Mr. Peggotty at Salem House; how delighted he was with the boat and all belonging to it; how lightly and easily he carried on, until he brought us, ...
— David Copperfield • Charles Dickens

... immaterial, with some marks of displeasure. I was greatly embarrass'd: I thought our conversation would soon become ...
— Barford Abbey • Susannah Minific Gunning

... the journey would in the least embarrass your affairs, and if I did not daily see you entering into expences so infinitely greater than this, I would not answer a word to such an argument. I think it my duty to be as careful of your property as you yourself could be; and for ...
— Anna St. Ives • Thomas Holcroft

... considered that any statement of that kind put forth at that particular juncture would simply tend to create a panic from which no good results could accrue, and that, as Dr Jameson had cast the die and crossed his Rubicon, as little as possible should be done needlessly to embarrass him. Suggestions were continually being made, and have been and are still being frequently quoted, to the effect that a force should be sent out to create a diversion among the Boer commandoes in Jameson's favour. Suggestions were made by men who had not the remotest ...
— The Transvaal from Within - A Private Record of Public Affairs • J. P. Fitzpatrick

... liberty. Or it might formally recognise our Protestantism. What can we hope from a body, the best members of which, as Hook and Palmer [of Worcester Coll.], defend and subscribe to the Jerusalem Fund...? Therefore I do not like to be responsible for helping to call into existence a body which may embarrass us more ...
— Memoirs of James Robert Hope-Scott, Volume 2 • Robert Ornsby

... wife, sister and a few earnest spirits, Mr. Ripley started on his project. He was in his fortieth year. He was neither too young nor too old. A few years of life he could possibly spare for the experiment. He would then be only in his prime. He had no children to embarrass his movements. He could give all his strength of body and mind to it. He loved the country life. It was to be the fulfilling of what he had preached so long and what is, alas, still preached to-day with not much attempt to realize it—the Christian life. People would laugh at him! ...
— Brook Farm • John Thomas Codman

... the youth was making. The author's heart was touched by the pathetic story. She at once wrote a check for one hundred dollars, and handed it to Mr. Uhl, for his protege. With that rare delicacy of feeling which marks all beautiful souls, Mrs. Burnett did not wish to embarrass the struggler by the necessity of thanking her. "Do not let him even write to me," she said to Mr. Uhl. "Simply say to him that I shall sail for Europe in a few days, and this is to give him a chance ...
— Eclectic School Readings: Stories from Life • Orison Swett Marden

... give it to her by yourself," suggested her mother. "I am afraid my presence will embarrass her and then ...
— Marjorie Dean High School Freshman • Pauline Lester

... it came about—whether she pretended to be drowning, or whether he frightened her, or caught her so as to embarrass her—but certainly he brought her to shore in a fashion ignominious to a swimmer, and more nearly drowned than she had ever expected to be; for the water had got into her throat as often as she had tried ...
— Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know • Various

... similarity between a buckwheat cake and a porous plaster," said the School-master, resolved, if possible, to embarrass the Idiot. ...
— Coffee and Repartee • John Kendrick Bangs



Words linked to "Embarrass" :   flurry, bottleneck, discompose, preclude, stonewall, confuse, hang, forbid, check, filibuster, discomfit, foreclose, upset, prevent, forestall, disconcert, put off, untune



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