shame·​ful | \ˈshām-fəl \

Definition of shameful 

1a : bringing shame : disgraceful

b : arousing the feeling of shame

2 archaic : full of the feeling of shame : ashamed

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Other Words from shameful

shamefully \ ˈshām-​fə-​lē \ adverb
shamefulness noun

Examples of shameful in a Sentence

There is no excuse for such shameful behavior. shameful behavior by a bunch of drunken boors

Recent Examples on the Web

Loving passively is as shameful as living that way. Longreads, "Captive Audience," 1 May 2018 This shameful decision only serves to strengthen our resolve to find ways to protect working families in this country. Jonathan Handel, The Hollywood Reporter, "Hollywood Guilds Blast Supreme Court’s Anti-Union Decision," 28 June 2018 Democrats started yelling out that this was shameful and a harassment of the witness. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "The House Judiciary hearings into Russia investigation have become a circus.," 12 July 2018 But the marketing savvy had a shameful and horrifying result: contributing to the scourge of opioids that is only worsening today. Sarah Mupo, STAT, "The 39 best health and science books to read this summer," 25 June 2018 Naked empowerment fantasies are exhilarating, a little shameful, and obviously implausible. Noah Berlatsky, The Verge, "The best superhero stories admit that superheroes are ridiculous," 11 July 2018 Oh how shameful, that the computers would use scores. Joan Niesen,, "The Computer Poll Uprising: Creators of the BCS's Most Controversial Component Look Back," 11 July 2018 There are truly no words for how completely horrific and utterly shameful this revelation is. Mehera Bonner, Marie Claire, "That Infamous Sex Scene in 'Last Tango in Paris'? Now We Know It Was Non-Consensual," 2 Dec. 2016 Religious nondiscrimination, alas, has long been honored only in the breach, as the shameful federal treatment of Mormonism in the late 19th century shows. Aziz Huq, Fortune, "What the Supreme Court’s Masterpiece Cakeshop Ruling Could Mean for Trump’s Travel Ban," 5 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shameful.' 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 shameful

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Last Updated

19 Nov 2018

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The first known use of shameful was in the 13th century

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English Language Learners Definition of shameful

: very bad : bad enough to make someone ashamed


shame·​ful | \ˈshām-fəl \

Kids Definition of shameful

: bringing shame : disgraceful “It would have been shameful to fail … when everyone knew that you could do well.”— Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

Other Words from shameful

shamefully \ -​fə-​lē \ adverb
shamefulness noun

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