sham·​ing | \ ˈshā-miŋ How to pronounce shaming (audio) \

Definition of shaming

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: causing feelings of shame The facts are too shaming for a proud nation to remember.— Niger Calder … for me it's a shaming reminder that for five and a half months I let a man call me "Baby Bear" …— Tina Brown What happened at Enron … was indeed a shaming episode in the history of US capitalism.— Geoffrey Owen … books that if they are left unread are truly shaming— Jeff Reid


plural shamings

Definition of shaming (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act or activity of subjecting someone to shame, disgrace, humiliation, or disrepute especially by public exposure or criticism Other times they would take more aggressive measures, tracking down and exposing the identities of supposed wrongdoers who the group felt had not been brought to justice. Public shaming is a standard tool for this kind of activism …— Emily Bazelon Between 1957 and 1961, he … managed to rig the outcomes of at least 43 [college basketball] games, leading to the arrests of 37 players and the shaming of several others.— Eric Konigsberg As the parade of … public shamings on Capitol Hill has shown …, the wealthy may not be universally loved, but they're America's favorite spectacle.— James Poniewozik

Other Words from shaming


shamingly adverb
I was reduced to ringing. Got the answering machine. Her voice—but insultingly impersonal, shamingly stilted. — Michael Frayn

First Known Use of shaming


1741, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of shaming was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Shaming.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2021.

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