Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A painful emotion caused by the awareness of having done something wrong or foolish.
  • noun Respect for propriety or morality.
  • noun Psychiatry A pervasive, negative emotional state, usually originating in childhood, marked by chronic self-reproach and a sense of personal failure.
  • noun A condition of disgrace or dishonor; ignominy.
  • noun A regrettable or unfortunate situation.
  • noun One that brings dishonor, disgrace, or condemnation.
  • transitive verb To cause to feel shame.
  • transitive verb To cause to feel ashamed to the point of doing something.
  • transitive verb To bring dishonor or disgrace on.
  • transitive verb To disgrace by surpassing.
  • idiom (put to shame) To cause to feel shame.
  • idiom (put to shame) To outdo thoroughly; surpass.
  • idiom (sense of shame) An understanding and respect for propriety and morality.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A painful feeling or sense of degradation excited by a consciousness of having done something unworthy of one's own previous idea of one's excellence; also, a peculiar painful feeling or sense of being in a situation offensive to decency, or likely to bring contempt upon the person experiencing the feeling.
  • noun Tendency to feel distress at any breach of decorum or decency, especially at any unseemly exposure of one's person.
  • noun A thing or person to be ashamed of; that which brings or is a source or cause of contempt, ignominy, or reproach; a disgrace or dishonor.
  • noun Grossly injurious or ignominious treatment or acts; ignominy; disgrace; dishonor; derision; contempt; contumely.
  • noun The parts of the body which modesty requires to be covered.
  • noun Synonyms Mortification. Opprobrium, odium, obloquy, scandal.
  • To be or feel ashamed.
  • To be ashamed of.
  • To make ashamed; cause to blush or to feel degraded, dishonored, or disgraced.
  • To cover with reproach or ignominy; disgrace.
  • To force or drive by shame.
  • To shun through shame.
  • To mock at; deride; treat with contumely or contempt.
  • Synonyms To mortify, humilinte, abash.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To make ashamed; to excite in (a person) a comsciousness of guilt or impropriety, or of conduct derogatory to reputation; to put to shame.
  • transitive verb To cover with reproach or ignominy; to dishonor; to disgrace.
  • transitive verb Obs. or R. To mock at; to deride.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Reproach incurred or suffered; dishonor; ignominy; derision; contempt.
  • noun The cause or reason of shame; that which brings reproach, and degrades a person in the estimation of others; disgrace.
  • noun The parts which modesty requires to be covered; the private parts.
  • noun you should be ashamed; shame on you!
  • noun to cause to feel shame; to humiliate; to disgrace.
  • intransitive verb rare To be ashamed; to feel shame.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb obsolete, intransitive To feel shame, be ashamed.
  • verb transitive To cause to feel shame.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Something to regret.
  • noun archaic That which is shameful and private, especially on the personal body.
  • interjection A cry of admonition for the subject of a speech, often used reduplicated, especially in political debates.
  • interjection South Africa Expressing sympathy.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a state of dishonor
  • verb compel through a sense of shame

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old English sceamu.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English scamian

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Old English scamu, sceamu, from Proto-Germanic *skamō, from Proto-Indo-European. Cognate with West Frisian skamte, Dutch schaamte, German Scham, Danish skam, Icelandic skömm. Compare also Persian شرم (šarm) and Albanian shaj ("to insult, offend, slander"), Gheg shamë ("an insult, offence").

Examples

Comments

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  • Much better as a verb than a noun. A halfway decent exclamation, too.

    Shame! Shame!!

    February 2, 2007

  • from Persian شرم (sharm)

    August 31, 2009