Abash
Abash A*bash" ([.a]*b[a^]sh"), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Abashed} ([.a]*b[a^]sht"); p. pr. & vb. n. {Abashing}.] [OE. abaissen, abaisshen, abashen, OF. esbahir, F. ['e]bahir, to astonish, fr. L. ex + the interjection bah, expressing astonishment. In OE. somewhat confused with abase. Cf. {Finish}.] To destroy the self-possession of; to confuse or confound, as by exciting suddenly a consciousness of guilt, mistake, or inferiority; to put to shame; to disconcert; to discomfit. [1913 Webster]

Abashed, the devil stood, And felt how awful goodness is. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

He was a man whom no check could abash. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

Syn: To confuse; confound; disconcert; shame.

Usage: To {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. [1913 Webster]

Satan stood Awhile as mute, confounded what to say. --Milton. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • abash — abash; abash·less; abash·ment; abash·less·ly; …   English syllables

  • abash — index browbeat, confound, confuse (bewilder), disconcert, disgrace, disorient, dissuade, embarrass …   Law dictionary

  • abash — (v.) perplex, embarrass, early 15c., earlier lose one s composure, be upset (late 14c.), from O.Fr. esbaiss , present stem of esbaer gape with astonishment, from es out (see EX (Cf. ex )) + ba(y)er to be open, gape, from L. *batare to yawn, gape …   Etymology dictionary

  • abash — discomfit, *embarrass, disconcert, faze, rattle Analogous words: fluster, flurry, *discompose, perturb, disturb, agitate: chagrin, mortify (see corresponding adjectives at ASHAMED): confound, dumbfound, nonplus (see PUZZLE) Antonyms: embolden:… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • abash — [ə bash′] vt. [ME abaishen < OFr esbahir, to astonish < es , intens. (< L ex ) + stem of baer, to gape: see BAY2] to make embarrassed and ill at ease; make self conscious; disconcert SYN. EMBARRASS abashedly [ə bash′əd lē] adv. abashment …   English World dictionary

  • abash — [14] Abash shares a common ancestry with abeyance [16], although the latter underwent an about turn in meaning in the 17th century which disguises their relationship. They go back to a Latin verb batāre, meaning ‘yawn’ or ‘gape’. This was… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • abash — [14] Abash shares a common ancestry with abeyance [16], although the latter underwent an about turn in meaning in the 17th century which disguises their relationship. They go back to a Latin verb batāre, meaning ‘yawn’ or ‘gape’. This was… …   Word origins

  • abash — abashment, n. /euh bash /, v.t. to destroy the self confidence, poise, or self possession of; disconcert; make ashamed or embarrassed: to abash someone by sneering. [1275 1325; ME abaishen < dial. OF abacher, OF abaissier to put down, bring low… …   Universalium

  • abash — verb /əˈbæʃ/ To make ashamed; to embarrass; to destroy the self possession of; to confuse or confound, as by exciting suddenly a consciousness of guilt, mistake, or …   Wiktionary

  • abash — transitive verb Etymology: Middle English abaishen, from Anglo French abaiss , abair to astonish, alteration of esbair, from ex + baer to open wide, gape more at abeyance Date: 14th century to destroy the self possession or self confidence of ;… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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