Definitions

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

  • adj. Indicative of shame; ashamed: a shamefaced explanation.
  • adj. Extremely modest or shy; bashful.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. bashful, showing modesty or embarrassment
  • adj. ashamed, displaying shame, especially by blushing in the face.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Easily confused or put out of countenance; diffident; bashful; modest.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Modest; bashful; originally shamefast.

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

  • adj. extremely modest or shy
  • adj. showing a sense of shame
  • adj. showing a sense of guilt

Etymologies

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

By folk etymology from obsolete shamefast, bashful, ashamed, from Middle English, from Old English sceamfæst : sceamu, shame + fæst, fixed; see fast1.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

alteration of the now archaic shamefast

Examples

  • At the next station he helped her to drop through the opening she had entered, and called a shamefaced "good-by" after her in the dusk.

    Seven Miles to Arden

  • He gave a kind of shamefaced nod, but averted his face as he passed.

    Twin Moons

  • Yet while the quadricentennial of Christopher Columbus's 1492 voyage was marked by the extraordinary Columbian Exposition in Chicago, its 500th anniversary was observed with a kind of shamefaced silence.

    A Forgotten Explorateur

  • The singing was a queer, ragged noise — an earnest booming from Mr Macgregor, a kind of shamefaced muttering from the other Europeans, and from the back a loud, wordless lowing, for the Karen Christians knew the tunes of the hymns but not the words.

    Burmese Days

  • From beyond the doors, the hubbub still continued; but it trailed off, damped by the hush of those in front to a kind of shamefaced muttering.

    Funeral Games

  • Her eyes were turned away from him and she answered with a kind of shamefaced defiance.

    The Unpleasantness At The Belladonna Club

  • Rod went on, with a kind of shamefaced mingling of jest and earnest:

    Susan Lenox: Her Fall and Rise, Volume II

  • Then they come to themselves and stopped and looked at each other, kind of shamefaced but suspicious.

    Cape Cod Stories

  • "You won't believe this part," he said in a kind of shamefaced way.

    The Window-Gazer

  • He may be, and generally is, an exceedingly unpleasant fellow to have for a neighbour -- mean, sordid, greedy, tyrannous, even cruel, and he may be generally hated and despised as well, but along with these feelings there will be a kind of shamefaced respect and admiration for his courage in following his own line in defiance of what others think and feel.

    A Shepherd's Life Impressions of the South Wiltshire Downs

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