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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
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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
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When someone's actions other than your own embarrasses you. Also a common feeling when reading or watching something embarrassing like a show or book.
1. Person 1: Did you see that girl trip today? It was so embarrassing, she dropped everything in her hands.

Person 2: Yeah, I know I couldn't handle watching her scramble around, trying to pick it up. The secondhand embarrassment was real.

2. The Character in the book was so embarrassing , that I couldn't continue reading it, cause I got secondhand embarrassment too much.
via giphy
by Crumpled August 17, 2017
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