shamefaced

adjective

shame·​faced ˈshām-ˌfāst How to pronounce shamefaced (audio)
1
: showing modesty : bashful
2
: showing shame : ashamed
shamefacedly adverb
shamefacedness
ˈshām-ˌfā-səd-nəs How to pronounce shamefaced (audio)
-ˌfās(t)-nəs
noun

Examples of shamefaced in a Sentence

He stood there, looking shamefaced. the newspaper offered a shamefaced apology for having published photographs that were later exposed as fakes
Recent Examples on the Web His Memoirs contain only a single, shamefaced mention of this wife’s name. Benjamin Kunkel, The New Republic, 2 July 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'shamefaced.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

alteration of shamefast

First Known Use

1593, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of shamefaced was in 1593

Dictionary Entries Near shamefaced

Cite this Entry

“Shamefaced.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shamefaced. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

shamefaced

adjective
shame·​faced ˈshām-ˈfāst How to pronounce shamefaced (audio)
1
: showing modesty : bashful
2
: showing shame : ashamed
shamefacedly
-ˈfā-səd-lē How to pronounce shamefaced (audio)
-ˈfāst-lē
adverb
shamefacedness
-ˈfā-səd-nəs How to pronounce shamefaced (audio)
-ˈfās(t)-nəs
noun
Etymology

an altered form of earlier shamefast, from Old English scamfæst "bound by shame, bashful," from scamu "shame" and fæst "fixed, fast"

Word Origin
The Old English word scamfæst was formed by a combination of the noun scamu, meaning "shame," and the adjective fæst, meaning "firmly fixed or bound, fast." The meaning of scamfæst was "bound by shame" or, more simply, "bashful." Over the course of many years, Old English scamfæst was changed to modern English shamefaced. The change from -fæst to -faced occurred because many people misunderstood -fæst. They substituted a more familiar word for one they did not know. The belief that bashfulness shows in a person's face probably also influenced the change.

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