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.
Abashed, the devil stood,
And felt how awful goodness is. --Milton.
He was a man whom no check could abash. --Macaulay.
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.
Awhile as mute, confounded what to say.
-- From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48
A little ctrl v action from my linux dictionary app.