shame

noun
\ ˈshām How to pronounce shame (audio) \

Definition of shame

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety
b : the susceptibility to such emotion have you no shame?
2 : a condition of humiliating disgrace or disrepute : ignominy the shame of being arrested
3a : something that brings censure or reproach also : something to be regretted : pity it's a shame you can't go
b : a cause of feeling shame

shame

verb
shamed; shaming

Definition of shame (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to bring shame to : disgrace shamed the family name
2 : to put to shame by outdoing
3 : to cause to feel shame
4 : to force by causing to feel guilty shamed into confessing

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Examples of shame in a Sentence

Noun

He felt shame for his lies. How could you be so rude? Have you no shame? Her crimes brought shame upon her family. He had to endure the shame of being fired.

Verb

He was shamed by his behavior at the party. shamed the family name with his conviction for embezzlement
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Three Women, as a project, was largely completed before the #MeToo movement kicked off in the fall of 2017, but the book certainly reads in conversation with it, tracing experiences of misogyny, shame, and power imbalances. David Canfield, EW.com, "Lisa Taddeo on her biggest hope for Three Women, the hottest book of the summer," 9 July 2019 How a grocery store plans on using the guise of adult entertainment to shame customers into not using plastic bags. Conor Orr, SI.com, "The NFL’s Five Most Combustible Teams," 9 July 2019 The shame of Independence Day being so politicised was manifest. The Economist, "Donald Trump: foreign policy showman," 3 July 2019 In order to shame churchmen and laypeople alike into being less focused on wealth and luxury, moralists mobilized all the rhetorical weapons at their disposal. Sara Lipton, The New York Review of Books, "A Terribly Durable Myth," 17 June 2019 Wharton was consumed with grief and shame and self-loathing. Matthew Van Meter, The New Republic, "The Judge and the Three-Strikes Convict," 17 June 2019 To do so may dredge up our own shame and guilt along with anxiety and despair. Rhonda Garelick, The Cut, "The Thai Cave Rescue Cannot Save Us From National Shame," 11 July 2018 And there is, of course, the shame of this land of the free boasting the largest prison population on the planet, of which the descendants of the enslaved make up the largest share. Essence, "Reparations Hearing Makes Strong Case For Establishment Of New Commission," 19 June 2019 Black women die in childbirth at four times the rate of white women, and there is of course the shame of this land of the free boasting the largest prison population on the planet, of which the descendants of the enslaved make up the largest share. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, "Watch Ta-Nehisi Coates school Mitch McConnell on American history," 19 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Much in the way Williams was able to shame tennis into equal pay by using undeniable facts about the impact the women’s game had on the sport, the U.S. Women’s National Team’s lawsuit against U.S. Soccer is loaded with undeniable facts. Lz Granderson, latimes.com, "Women could help women in sports by showing up to watch," 29 June 2019 Back in March, Girardi clapped back after a Twitter user attempted to shame her by posing a photo of the star without makeup and referencing legal action involving her husband Thomas Girardi. Robyn Merrett, PEOPLE.com, "Erika Girardi Nonchalantly Bends Over Naked During Meeting: 'Business Casual'," 20 June 2019 Morgan said the panel wants independent bodies to publish league tables to name and shame companies that are doing worst and applaud those that improve. David Hellier, Bloomberg.com, "Banks Face U.K. Grilling in Probe Over Big Gender Pay Gaps," 16 May 2019 Even the Vancouver store that was trying to shame its customers into shunning plastic bags uses copious amounts of plastic packaging. Anna Schaverien, New York Times, "Store’s Bid to Shame Customers Over Plastic Bags Backfires," 12 June 2019 It's also been used to publicly shame pedestrians into stopping jaywalking. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "San Francisco Is Preparing to Ban Facial Recognition Technology," 14 May 2019 Colton's parents, The Underwoods, put the other Underwoods to shame with their shade and skepticism towards Cassie. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "Why 'The Bachelor' Finale Grossed Me Out," 13 Mar. 2019 The study was intended in part, say those familiar with it, to shame American institutions that the administration believes are being used by China. Gerald F. Seib, WSJ, "Pence Unloaded on China; Here’s Why That’s Important," 8 Oct. 2018 Here was a member of Britain's media elite turning a personal tragedy into an opportunity to shame the gay community. Jon Ronson, Town & Country, "Trial By Hashtag," 13 Feb. 2015

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shame.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of shame

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for shame

Noun

Middle English, from Old English scamu; akin to Old High German scama shame

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Statistics for shame

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shame

The first known use of shame was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for shame

shame

noun

English Language Learners Definition of shame

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a feeling of guilt, regret, or sadness that you have because you know you have done something wrong
: ability to feel guilt, regret, or embarrassment
: dishonor or disgrace

shame

verb

English Language Learners Definition of shame (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cause (someone) to feel ashamed
: to force (someone) to act in a specified way by causing feelings of shame or guilt

shame

noun
\ ˈshām How to pronounce shame (audio) \

Kids Definition of shame

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a painful emotion caused by having done something wrong or improper
2 : ability to feel shame Have you no shame?
3 : dishonor entry 1 sense 1, disgrace There is no shame in admitting mistakes.
4 : something that brings disgrace or causes painful emotion or strong regret It's a shame he couldn't join us.

shame

verb
shamed; shaming

Kids Definition of shame (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to make ashamed I was shamed by my actions.
3 : to force by causing to feel shame They were shamed into confessing.

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More from Merriam-Webster on shame

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shame

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shame

Spanish Central: Translation of shame

Nglish: Translation of shame for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shame for Arabic Speakers

Comments on shame

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