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shame

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English

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

Old English scamu. Compare Persian شرم (sharm).

Noun

Singular
shame

Plural
-

shame (-)
  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!
Synonyms
  • (something regrettable): pity
Derived terms
Usage notes

While shame is not generally counted, it is countable, for example

I felt two shames: one for hurting my friend, and a greater one for lying about it.

While shame has a strong social element and can carry fear of being shut out of society, it is also possible to feel private shame at violating ones own private standards.

Translations

Etymology 2

Old English scamian

Verb

Infinitive
to shame

Third person singular
sham

Simple past
-

Past participle
-

Present participle
ing

to shame (third-person singular simple present sham, present participle ing, simple past and past participle -)
  1. To cause to feel shame.
    I was shamed by the teacher's public disapproval.
Translations
Derived terms

References

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

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