verb (used with object)
- to destroy the self-confidence, poise, or self-possession of; disconcert; make ashamed or embarrassed: to abash someone by sneering.
- (tr; usually passive) to cause to feel ill at ease, embarrassed, or confused; make ashamed
“perplex, embarrass,” early 15c., earlier “lose one’s composure, be upset” (late 14c.), from Old French esbaiss-, present stem of esbaer “gape with astonishment,” from es “out” (see ex-) + ba(y)er “to be open, gape,” from Latin *batare “to yawn, gape,” from root *bat, possibly imitative of yawning. Related: Abashed; abashing. Bashful is a 16c. derivative.