American English

Definition of shame noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    jump to other results
  1. 1[uncountable] the feelings of sadness, embarrassment, and guilt that you have when you know that something you have done is wrong or stupid His face burned with shame. She hung her head in shame. He could not live with the shame of other people knowing the truth. I would die of shame if she ever found out. To my shame (= I feel shame that) I refused to listen to her side of the story.
  2. 2[uncountable] (formal) (only used in questions and negative sentences) the ability to feel shame at something you have done Have you no shame? That child is completely without shame!
  3. 3a shame [singular] used to say that something is a cause for feeling sad or disappointed synonym pity What a shame they couldn't come. It's a shame aboutTim, isn't it? It's a shame that she wasn't here to see it. It would be a crying shame (= a great shame) not to take them up on the offer. It seems such a shame to throw perfectly good food away. It's a shame (that) you didn't say something sooner.
  4. 4[uncountable] the loss of respect that is caused when you do something wrong or stupid There is no shame in wanting to be successful. (formal) She felt that her failure would bring shame on her family.
  5. Idioms
    put somebody/something to shame
    jump to other results
    to be much better than someone or something Their presentation put ours to shame. Her energy and enthusiasm puts the rest of us to shame (= makes us feel embarrassed and guilty that we are not the same).
    shame on you, him, etc. (informal)
    jump to other results
    used to say that someone should feel ashamed for something they have said or done
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: shame