Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of shame
Meaning of shame by Wiktionary Dictionary



    • IPA: /ʃeɪm/
    • Rhymes: -eɪm

    Etymology 1

    Old English scamu. Compare Persian شرم ( šarm ) and Albanian shaj ( “to insult, offend, slander” ), shamë ( “an insult, offence” ) .


    shame ( uncountable )

    1. Uncomfortable or painful feeling due to recognition or consciousness of impropriety, dishonor, or other wrong in the opinion of the person experiencing the feeling. It is caused by awareness of exposure of circumstances of unworthiness or of improper or indecent conduct .
      When I realized that I had hurt my friend, I felt deep shame .
      The teenager couldn’t bear the shame of introducing his parents .
    2. Something to regret .
      It was a shame not to see the show after driving all that way .
      "And what you do to me is a shame." - Evelyn "Champagne" King, in the song Shame .
    3. ( archaic ) That which is shameful and private, especially on the personal body .
      Cover your shame!
    Usage notes
    Derived terms



    1. A cry of admonition for the subject of a speech, often used reduplicated, especially in political debates.
    Derived terms

    Etymology 2

    Old English scamian


    shame ( third-person singular simple present shames present participle shaming, simple past and past participle shamed )

    1. ( obsolete, intransitive ) To feel shame, be ashamed.
      I do shame / To think of what a noble strain you are. — Shakespeare .
    2. ( transitive ) To cause to feel shame .
      I was shamed by the teacher's public disapproval .
    Derived terms
    • ashamed

    See also

    • shame in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913


    • ahems, haems, hames, Shema

Explanation of shame by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. surpass or beat by a wide margin

    2. cause to be ashamed

    3. compel through a sense of shame

    4. She shamed him into making amends
    5. bring shame or dishonor upon

    1. an unfortunate development

    2. a painful emotion resulting from an awareness of inadequacy or guilt

    3. a state of dishonor

    4. one mistake brought shame to all his family

    Definition of shame by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Shame n. [OE. shame, schame, AS. scamu, sceamu; akin to OS. & OHG. scama, G. scham, Icel. skömm, shkamm, Sw. & Dan. skam, D. & G. schande, Goth. skanda shame, skaman sik to be ashamed; perhaps from a root skam meaning to cover, and akin to the root ( kam ) of G. hemd shirt, E. chemise. Cf. Sham.]
      1. A painful sensation excited by a consciousness of guilt or impropriety, or of having done something which injures reputation, or of the exposure of that which nature or modesty prompts us to conceal.

      HIde, for shame,

      Romans, your grandsires' images,

      That blush at their degenerate progeny. Dryden.

      Have you no modesty, no maiden shame? Shak.

      2. Reproach incurred or suffered; dishonor; ignominy; derision; contempt.

      Ye have borne the shame of the heathen. Ezek. xxxvi. 6.

      Honor and shame from no condition rise. Pope.

      And every woe a tear can claim

      Except an erring sister's shame. Byron.

      3. The cause or reason of shame; that which brings reproach, and degrades a person in the estimation of others; disgrace.

      O Csar, what a wounding shame is this! Shak.

      Guides who are the shame of religion. Shak.

      4. The parts which modesty requires to be covered; the private parts. Isa. xlvii. 3.

      For shame! you should be ashamed; shame on you! -- To put to shame, to cause to feel shame; to humiliate; to disgrace. “Let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil.” Ps. xl. 14.

    2. Shame, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Shamed ; p. pr. & vb. n. Shaming.]
      1. To make ashamed; to excite in ( a person ) a comsciousness of guilt or impropriety, or of conduct derogatory to reputation; to put to shame.

      Were there but one righteous in the world, he would . . . shame the world, and not the world him. South.

      2. To cover with reproach or ignominy; to dishonor; to disgrace.

      And with foul cowardice his carcass shame. Spenser.

      3. To mock at; to deride. [Obs. or R.]

      Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor. Ps. xiv. 6.

    3. Shame, v. i. [AS. scamian, sceamian. See Shame, n.] To be ashamed; to feel shame. [R.]

      I do shame

      To think of what a noble strain you are. Shak.