\ 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


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

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Charles Barkley won’t defect to the LIV Tour, which is a shame, because the move would have given him a chance to win his first tournament. Nick Canepacolumnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 July 2022 Which is a shame, because an extended-range XLT—the next-cheapest path toward a 580-hp Lightning—costs $74,269. Ezra Dyer, Car and Driver, 1 July 2022 That's a shame, because this country will need them more than ever if Roe is overturned. Franchetta Groves, CNN, 20 June 2022 That this remains a significant issue is a tremendous shame because home delivery services should be, and, during the Covid-19 lockdowns quite literally were, a lifeline for clinically vulnerable disabled people. Gus Alexiou, Forbes, 30 Apr. 2022 For years, Boris Johnson’s superpower was his lack of shame. Adela Suliman, Washington Post, 7 July 2022 For others, including the French, such dependence is now a source not only of shame, but of long-term vulnerability. Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, 4 July 2022 People who are raped are victims of a crime, but society has built it into something of shame, making some hesitant to discuss it. cleveland, 2 July 2022 What's interesting is the way pride is so interwoven with feelings of shame. Joshua Rothkopf,, 1 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Don’t run from these realizations, but don’t shame yourself either. Yec, Forbes, 24 June 2022 Any one of the hundreds of mass murders to which this country has grown accustomed over the last three decades should have been enough to shame the gun industry vassals in Congress into action. Yvonne Abraham,, 8 June 2022 This week, Ukraine intensified its campaign to shame the German business-software beast into ditching its Russian customers. Thomas Brewster, Forbes, 17 Mar. 2022 This very intentionally vague law will shame and stigmatize not only LGBTQ students but students with LGBTQ parents and family members, as well as any student that rightfully believes and understands that LGBTQ people are valued members of society. Washington Post, 10 May 2022 That attempt to publicly shame Telegram into action, however, did not work. Morgan Meaker, Wired, 3 Feb. 2022 Screaming matches occurred when latecomers tried to sneak in, while others posted their pictures on social media to shame them. Emily Yahr, Washington Post, 26 May 2022 Hit the gym fitness center, one that’s filled with new Technogym equipment and is spacious enough to shame some studios in New York City. Lauren Mowery, Forbes, 16 May 2022 For example, the Hopi Pueblo clown festival includes pulling rule-breaking villagers into the middle of the ceremony to shame them. Jessica Dulong, CNN, 6 May 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.

First Known Use of shame


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


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for shame


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

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

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Last Updated

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Shame.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for shame


\ 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.


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on shame

Nglish: Translation of shame for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shame for Arabic Speakers


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