shame·​ful | \ ˈshām-fəl How to pronounce shameful (audio) \

Definition of shameful

1a : bringing shame : disgraceful
b : arousing the feeling of shame
2 archaic : full of the feeling of shame : ashamed

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from shameful

shamefully \ ˈshām-​fə-​lē How to pronounce shameful (audio) \ 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 The trial was intended to identify the line past which political societies could not stray without being regarded as shameful – with an eye not simply on the present, but in the future. Michael Blake, The Conversation, "Is impeaching President Trump ‘pointless revenge’? Not if it sends a message to future presidents," 13 Jan. 2021 Randy Economy, a spokesperson for California Patriot Coalition — Recall Governor Gavin Newsom, the group trying to qualify a recall for the ballot, has called the Democrats’ rhetoric shameful. Dustin Gardiner,, "California Democratic official backs off calling Newsom recall effort a ‘coup’," 15 Jan. 2021 Alliance Police called Macron's comments shameful and denied the force was racist. NBC News, "Violence erupts during Paris protest against Macron's security law," 5 Dec. 2020 Its shameful that a few worthless individuals can absolutely ruin such a good thing for kids and kids at heart. Mary Colurso |, al, "Baby goats missing from Jackson Lake Island; owners ‘heartbroken’ over kidnapping," 2 Dec. 2020 Much has already been made about Trump’s conduct in the call, which was shameful even by the abysmally low standards to which he is held. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Trump Blew Up Ted Cruz’s Cynical Plan to Contest the Election," 5 Jan. 2021 Beyond the pressure to get married in the traditional way, the 24-year-old also has had to deal with remarks that being gay is abnormal and shameful as well as emotional blackmail and even violence. Amanat Khullar, Quartz India, "How LGBTQ+ members of the South Asian diaspora navigate stigma and stress," 29 Dec. 2020 Despite the colder weather, there are pockets of homeless tents and makeshift shelters for whom orders to stay inside remain our state’s shameful absurdity. Joseph Horton, Time, "An After-Curfew Drive With My New Baby Brought the Lessons of the Pandemic Into Sharper Focus," 28 Dec. 2020 Hellwig started Intermountain Labs to work on the other cases—the murders that didn’t make headlines, the unresolved missing persons cases, and the nation’s shameful backlog of more than 100,000 untested rape kits. Megan Molteni, Wired, "Cops Are Getting a New Tool For Family-Tree Sleuthing," 16 Dec. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of shameful

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about shameful

Time Traveler for shameful

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for shameful

Last Updated

22 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shameful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for shameful



English Language Learners Definition of shameful

: very bad : bad enough to make someone ashamed


shame·​ful | \ ˈshām-fəl How to pronounce shameful (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on shameful

What made you want to look up shameful? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!