Definition of shame in English:

shame

Line breaks: shame
Pronunciation: /ʃeɪm
 
/

noun

[mass noun]
  • 2 [in singular] A regrettable or unfortunate situation or action: what a shame Ellie won’t be here it is a shame that they are not better known
    More example sentences
    • It's a shame as they do contribute so much to the character of a place.
    • He really is that good here and it was a shame he did not win the Oscar.
    • It would be a shame to bring home a bounty of lovely fashionable gifts and nothing suits her.
    Synonyms
    pity, misfortune, crying shame, cause for regret, source of regret, sad thing, unfortunate thing; bad luck, ill luck
    informal bummer, crime, sin

verb

[with object] Back to top  
  • 1Make (someone) feel ashamed: I tried to shame him into giving some away legal action must be taken and companies named and shamed
    More example sentences
    • I was shamed and embarrassed, yet decided that I should still go to the Wallace Monument.
    • In this case men are shamed into silence, a form of abuse that few women today would tolerate.
    • Putting bumper stickers on people's cars, they say, is an updated way of inducing shame for social good, in this case by shaming SUV drivers about their purchase.
    Synonyms
    humiliate, mortify, make someone feel ashamed, chagrin, embarrass, abash, chasten, humble, put someone in their place, take down a peg or two, cut down to size, show up
    North American informal make someone eat crow
    US informal own
  • 1.1Bring shame to: the entire debacle has shamed Scotland
    More example sentences
    • The British Prime Minister Tony Blair says they have shamed their country.
    • Two more mums are planning to join the legal fight to shame Croydon Council in providing better funding for its schools.
    • At her wedding, Claudio shames her by saying she is unfaithful.
  • 1.2Cause (someone) to feel inadequate by outdoing or surpassing them: she shames me with her eighty-year-old energy
    More example sentences
    • If Mother were alive today, she'd put TV makeover shows to shame, for she excelled in transformation.
    • Her skill at passing herself off as someone else would have shamed even James Bond.
    • Yet EU public opinion seems to have shamed even the French.

exclamation

South African Back to top  
  • Used to express sentimental pleasure, especially at something small and endearing: look at the foals—shame, aren’t they sweet?

Phrases

put someone to shame

Make someone feel inadequate by greatly outdoing or surpassing them: she puts me to shame, she’s so capable
More example sentences
  • He is putting Hitler to shame by his cold-blooded savagery.
  • With hands on their hips they thrust their pelvises, putting Elvis to shame.
  • He shines like sunlight during my darkest times, putting DeBeers to shame.
Synonyms
outshine, outclass, overshadow, eclipse, surpass, excel, be superior to, outstrip, outdo, put in the shade, upstage, leave behind; show up, humble
informal run rings around, be head and shoulders above, leave standing, knock into a cocked hat
British informal knock spots off
archaic outrival, outvie
rare put to the blush

shame on you

Used to reprove someone for something of which they should be ashamed: shame on you for hitting a woman
More example sentences
  • A member of the International Socialists interrupted him, calling out, ‘shame on you for calling us on thinking, shame on you, this is supposed to be a university.’
  • But shame on you for saying she is from Brentwood, La.
  • And lest you doubt their authenticity - shame on you - two of the members have studied Bulgarian folklore in the academic setting.

Origin

Old English sc(e)amu (noun), sc(e)amian 'feel shame', of Germanic origin; related to Dutch schamen (verb) and German Scham (noun), schämen (verb).

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