Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Unabashed

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The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day is unabashed. Read on for what it means, how it’s used, and more.

What It Means

Unabashed is a synonym of both undisguised and unapologetic. It usually describes someone who is not embarrassed or ashamed about openly expressing strong feelings or opinions, or such a person’s emotion or behavior.

// Despite his reputation as the strong, silent type, the lumberjack squealed with unabashed glee at the first sight of his baby niece.

UNABASHED in Context

“Morgantown attorney Sam Stone … loves the Wheeling Symphony, and has since he was knee-high to a conductor’s baton. He learned how to play classical music and he learned how to love it, too. His fandom of the Wheeling Symphony was unabashed and unconditional.” — Jim Bissett, The Dominion Post (Morgantown, West Virginia), 19 June 2022

Did You Know?

To abash someone is to shake up their self-possession, as illustrated by Charlotte Brontë in her 1849 novel Shirley: “He had never blushed in his life; no humiliation could abash him.” When you are unabashed you make no apologies for your behavior (nor do you attempt to hide or disguise it), but when you are abashed your confidence has been thrown off and you may feel rather inferior or ashamed of yourself. English speakers have been using abashed to describe feelings of embarrassment since the 14th century, but they have only used unabashed (brazenly or otherwise) since the 15th century (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

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