Humiliation describes a strong feeling of embarrassment or mortification — like that time in sixth grade when your mother wiped your face and called you "honey bunny" in front of all your friends.

Humiliation comes from the Latin word humiliare, which means "to humble." So if you are caught in a situation that causes humiliation, you are humbled — with a loss of self-esteem and self-respect. If you become a politician, for example, and you campaign on a platform of family values, don't get caught cheating on your spouse; the public humiliation may be enough to drive you out of politics.

Definitions of humiliation
  1. noun
    depriving one of self-esteem
    synonyms: abasement
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    decline to a lower status or level
    type of:
    debasement, degradation
    changing to a lower state (a less respected state)
  2. noun
    state of disgrace or loss of self-respect
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    abasement, abjection, degradation
    a low or downcast state
    decadence, decadency, degeneracy, degeneration
    the state of being degenerate in mental or moral qualities
    (usually plural) a low moral state
    type of:
    disgrace, ignominy, shame
    a state of dishonor
  3. noun
    strong feelings of embarrassment
    synonyms: chagrin, mortification
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    type of:
    the shame you feel when your inadequacy or guilt is made public
  4. noun
    an instance in which you are caused to lose your prestige or self-respect
    “he had to undergo one humiliation after another”
    synonyms: mortification
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    type of:
    case, example, instance
    an occurrence of something
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