shame

1 of 2

noun

1
a
: 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
3
a
: 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

2 of 2

verb

shamed; shaming

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

Example Sentences

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Despite the growing research on HIV/AIDS, as well as the success in tackling and treating the illness, the shame and stigma against the LGBTQ community remains. Kiara Alfonseca, ABC News, 1 Dec. 2022 But the pendulum doesn’t need to swing, Pollan says, who says that shame and guilt stand as the antithesis to intentional eating. Byalexa Mikhail, Fortune, 22 Nov. 2022 The problem, Kantor and Twohey quickly realize, is that internal forces like shame and fear are working in conjunction with legal settlements that have bound many women to nondisclosure agreements. Molly Fischer, The New Yorker, 18 Nov. 2022 The Russians posted the video online, along with other residents’ confessions, in an apparent effort to shame and intimidate people. Andrew E. Kramer, New York Times, 14 Nov. 2022 Another is that Galán is an actor worth keeping an eye on, a very canny choice for a movie so poised to walk tonal tightropes, drifting between misery and humor, shame and shamelessness. K. Austin Collins, Rolling Stone, 17 Oct. 2022 Underlying the shame of the World Cup in Qatar and the petrostate ownership of European soccer is this banal reality: These states are our diplomatic and commercial allies. Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, 19 Nov. 2022 And a shame, because the idea of Stallone as an aging gangster in a glossy streaming series is enticing. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, 12 Nov. 2022 Few justice agencies participate in VA systems designed to identify veterans, and, when arrested, many veterans choose not to share their status out of shame or fear of losing VA benefits. Chuck Hagel, Time, 11 Nov. 2022
Verb
But that’s no reason not to do it anyway — or to shame those who do. Emily Heil, Washington Post, 19 Nov. 2022 The purpose of all these protests was to get the governor to address the climate crisis and to humiliate and publicly shame the ruling class standing in the way of such policy. Liza Featherstone, The New Republic, 31 Oct. 2022 Brilliant and well-read, my mother was unimpressed by celebrity and carried herself with regal self-assurance despite society’s relentless attempts to shame young mothers living in poverty. Sarah Smarsh, Harper’s Magazine , 26 Oct. 2022 The idea isn’t to shame anyone, says Ana Valdez, president and CEO of the Latino Donor Collaborative. Fidel Martinez, Los Angeles Times, 29 Sep. 2022 And Killen, like the troubled town of Brookside, has turned its Facebook page into a vehicle to shame those who fail to pay. Ashley Remkus | Aremkus@al.com, al, 19 Sep. 2022 Nielsen says the open spots are not meant to shame the congressmen, but to allow for the possibility of a last-minute change of heart. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 24 May 2022 Or, more simply, to shame Incognito for its shoddy design, and for its blocking of trades in contravention of its professed creed of decentralization and free trade. Gian M. Volpicelli, WIRED, 17 Oct. 2022 Nobody — not even this pumpkin trio — will shame your candy intake on Halloween. Monique Valeris, Good Housekeeping, 5 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near shame

Cite this Entry

“Shame.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shame. Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

shame

1 of 2 noun
1
a
: a painful emotion caused by having done something wrong or improper
b
: ability to feel shame
have you no shame?
2
3
: something that brings disgrace or causes shame or strong regret
4
: something to be regretted : pity
it's a shame you'll miss the show

shame

2 of 2 verb
shamed; shaming
1
: to bring shame to : disgrace
2
: to cause to feel shame
3
: to force by causing to feel guilty
they were shamed into confessing

More from Merriam-Webster on shame

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