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1.
The personal embarrassment that one feels on account of and for another (i.e. a friend, a family member or a complete stranger) who is making a fool of him or herself. A person experiencing secondhand embarrassment feels as if they are doing the embarrassing action themselves, effectively putting themselves in the other person's shoes.
Guy 1: Man, Sarah's presentation today was terrible. She forgot half of it and stumbled through the rest.
Guy 2: Oh I know. I had so much secondhand embarrassment for her. It was like watching a train wreck.
by Casey L. December 14, 2007
 
2.
When you feel so embarrassed for someone else's actions that you feel the embarrassment for yourself as well.
Stefanie is singing loudly in Portuguese! I feel second hand embarrassment... I can't be in the same room right now.
by arisames December 05, 2009