- 1A painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behaviour: she was hot with shame he felt a pang of shame at telling Alice a lieMore example sentences
- It should not be overlooked that this could be due to the feelings of fear, shame, embarrassment or anger that the victims may still feel during or even after the event.
- It's what mainly life is about - humiliation, embarrassment, shame and shyness, all the other things.
- No fictional account of human humiliation and shame can capture the frightening banality of the people's treatment at these checkpoints.
- 1.1A loss of respect or esteem; dishonour: the incident had brought shame on his familyMore example sentences
- It brought such shame and dishonor to the entire family.
- If they flinch during the act, boys bring shame and dishonor to themselves and their family.
- They were anxious to bring forward their good reputation, and they stressed that the perpetrator's acts had brought shame and dishonour on them.
- 1.2 [count noun] A person, action, or situation that brings a loss of respect or honour: ignorance of Latin would be a disgrace and a shame to any public manMore example sentences
- It's very much a book about a man remembering being a child, and it's very much about a man remembering the shames of being a child.
- Awarded the Military Cross, he took lives to save others, contributing to the ‘long-famous glories, immemorial shames of war’.
- Secret shames are divulged delicately, drawing viewers into the lives of the characters.
- 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 knownMore 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.
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 shamedMore 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.
- 1.1Bring shame to: the entire debacle has shamed ScotlandMore 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 energyMore 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.
exclamationSouth African Back to top
put someone to shame
- Make someone feel inadequate by greatly outdoing or surpassing them: she puts me to shame, she’s so capableMore example sentences
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 hatBritish • informal knock spots off• archaic outrival, outvie• rare put to the blush
- 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.
shame on you
- Used to reprove someone for something of which they should be ashamed: shame on you for hitting a womanMore 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.
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).