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A*bash" (&adot_;*băsh"), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Abashed (&adot_;*băsht"); p. pr. & vb. n. Abashing.] [OE. abaissen, abaisshen, abashen, OF. esbahir, F. ébahir, 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, Milton.
And felt how awful goodness is.
He was a man whom no check could abash. Macaulay.
Syn. -- To confuse; confound; disconcert; shame. -- 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.
Satan stood Milton.
Awhile as mute, confounded what to say.