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

And as Johannes flees the city in an attempt to escape persecution, his sister Marin refuses to say goodbye, crumbling under the weight of her own shameful secret. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "The Miniaturist Star Anya Taylor-Joy Talks Marin's Secret and This Episode's Most Shocking Scene," 17 Sep. 2018 The Pritzker campaign should immediately take down this dishonest and shameful ad. Rick Pearson,, "Rauner calls Pritzker attack ad about Trump immigration policy 'dishonest'," 11 July 2018 The White House Boys, as a group of grown men now call themselves — kept one of the institution's most shameful secrets for half a century: what was done to them inside a squat, dark, cinder-block building called The White House. Carol Marbin Miller, miamiherald, "A painful reunion at school of horror," 11 July 2018 The truth is that the narrative of poverty or anti-poverty programs has become racialized and distorted to the point where the poor—especially the black poor—are seen as shameful, sinful, lazy and undeserving. Angela Helm, The Root, "This 27-Year-Old Mayor Is Giving Away Money to Realize MLK’s Last, Most Radical Dream," 4 Apr. 2018 Until then, Johnson applauds Trump’s work at diminishing regulations, and denounces White House immigration policies as shameful and bad for the economy. Morgan Lee, The Seattle Times, "Libertarian says Trump, Democrats need a swing-vote senator," 9 Oct. 2018 Medecins Sans Frontieres and SOS Mediterranee described the decision by the Panama Maritime Authority to de-flag the vessel as shameful. Fox News, "The Latest: Charities call on EU to save migrant rescue ship," 24 Sep. 2018 Just a day after using ‘‘separate but equal,’’ Trump branched out to using shameful episodes in other countries’ recent histories to supply the vocabulary for his spur-of-the-moment public statements. Christine Emba,, "President Trump’s ‘Space Force’ brings back ‘separate but equal’," 20 June 2018 These images are eerily reminiscent of the Japanese American internment camps of World War II, now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history. NBC News, "Laura Bush: Separating families at border is 'cruel' and 'immoral'," 18 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

31 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on shameful

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shameful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shameful

Spanish Central: Translation of shameful

Nglish: Translation of shameful for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shameful for Arabic Speakers

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