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

When there is abuse going on, there is a tendency to hide what's going on out of shame. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "What Is Gaslighting (and How Can You Tell if It's Happening to You)?," 15 Apr. 2019 But all the recent shame surrounding washing your hair too often has gotten me thinking: Is shampooing your hair every day really that bad? Yerin Kim, Seventeen, "This Is How Often You Should Really Be Washing Your Hair," 12 Apr. 2019 There’s a lot of misinformation surrounding the medication used to treat mental illnesses — and there is a lot of shame, too. Molly Burford, Teen Vogue, "4 Ways You Might Accidentally Be Perpetuating Mental Health Stigma," 28 Dec. 2018 Does talking about your bank balance give you a sense of shame? Vogue, "The Smartest Money Resolutions You Can Make For 2019," 14 Dec. 2018 This is a Fox production, with FS1 a second channel, and that’s a shame. Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle, "The World Cup arrives, with its galaxy of stars," 13 June 2018 Kelly SullivanGetty Images The first step to building the kind of power that will change laws and impact elections is breaking the isolation and shame that incarceration produces. Alicia Garza, Marie Claire, "Alicia Garza on How Women Are Battling Mass Incarceration," 30 Apr. 2019 Many Britons feel a mix of frustration, fascination and shame at the ongoing political chaos. Jill Lawless, The Seattle Times, "Shame, sadness in UK as Brexit reveals Parliament’s flaws," 14 Apr. 2019 Oh and there's a new Spritz cocktail menu that could put rosé to shame (don't @me). Alyssa Fiorentino, House Beautiful, "This NYC Rooftop Restaurant Is Covered In Flowers And Ready For Instagram," 20 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Some online trolls may have tried to shame Ocasio-Cortez by sharing a video that captured her dancing on a rooftop, but the Internet has turned that narrative around. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Watch Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Dance to Selena Gomez, Beyoncé, and More," 4 Jan. 2019 The lengths to which the family has gone to raise the funds — including the GoFundMe appeal, a related Facebook page and the public reportage of Andrew’s lemonade stand and the family’s medical needs — should shame America. Michael Hiltzik, latimes.com, "That heartwarming story about a kid crowdfunding for his infant brother defines what's wrong with U.S. healthcare," 4 June 2018 Breakups that happen because two people want different things don’t have to get ugly, and there doesn’t have to be a villain. Don’t shame someone for knowing herself well enough to make a hard choice. Meredith Clark, SELF, "Real Women Share the Best and Worst Responses to a Friend Going Through a Breakup," 22 Dec. 2018 Why Locals Hang Out at the Airport Changi Airport already puts the JFKs of the world to shame with its feel-good amenities like a butterfly garden and a movie theater. Laura Dannen Redman, Condé Nast Traveler, "What to Do in Singapore: The (Mini) Black Book," 14 Nov. 2018

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

18 May 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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