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sham·​ing ˈshā-miŋ How to pronounce shaming (audio)
: 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 shamingJeff Reid
shamingly adverb
I was reduced to ringing. Got the answering machine. Her voice—but insultingly impersonal, shamingly stilted. Michael Frayn


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plural shamings
: 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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
Then, there were the extra-baggage questions: After the public shaming that came with a positive test for clostebol, an anabolic steroid, and his subsequent punishment, how would Tatis handle the spotlight during his return? Scott Miller, New York Times, 25 May 2023 To celebrate the release of her book, journalist Virginia Sole-Smith will discuss how parents can support their children’s self-worth and combat the harmful effects of body shaming., 5 May 2023 Other red states are rushing down the same path, seeing political gold in denunciations of shaming. Adam Hochschild, The New York Review of Books, 4 May 2023 Body shaming is a terrible thing, and no girl should have to go through that — or guy. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, 27 Apr. 2023 When a charlatan social media spiritual guru is called in to exorcise Zaffan as the source of the malevolence, she is faced with the decision of whether to submit to society’s shaming or embrace her true monstrous self, with all of its wrath, rage and beauty. Patrick Brzeski, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 May 2023 The movie leaves this narrative out, but still shows the impact body shaming has on Laura, who storms out of the library after Margaret accuses her of letting boys touch her. Elise Brisco, USA TODAY, 29 Apr. 2023 Sustainable period underwear brand WUKA was founded by environmental scientist, Ruby Raut, who grew up in Nepal who has seen first-hand the destructive nature of period poverty and menstrual shaming. Catherine Erdly, Forbes, 21 Apr. 2022 Jet-setting environmentalists should be no exception to elite flight shaming—or flygskam, to use the rapidly spreading Swedish term for it. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, 2 May 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use


1741, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near shaming

Cite this Entry

“Shaming.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jun. 2023.

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