Definition of shame noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ʃeɪm//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ʃeɪm//
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  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. See related entries: Embarrassment
  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. 3  a 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 about Tim, 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. Word OriginOld English sc(e)amu (noun), sc(e)amian ‘feel shame’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch schamen (verb) and German Scham (noun), schämen (verb).Extra examples Do you feel no shame for what you’ve done? He had cried noisily and without shame at the news of Esther’s death. He risked public shame and possible imprisonment. He was being held by two security guards, his head bowed in shame. Her pregnancy was no cause for shame. His arrest for stealing brought shame on his family. I nearly died of shame! It is a national shame that our prisons serve as mental institutions. It’s a terrible shame about Steve losing his job. It’s a terrible shame about Stuart losing his job, isn’t it? Shame on you for doubting me! She blushed with shame. She felt a flush of shame at what she’d done. She shut her eyes in shame. She wept from the shame of having let everyone down. There’s no shame in making an honest living. This is the secret shame I have carried around for decades. To my shame, I didn’t tell Robert about the party. What a shame you can’t come! It would be a crying shame to let all that talent go to waste. It’s a shame about Tim, isn’t it? It’s such a shame that she wasn’t here to see it. Shame they couldn’t make it. She felt that her failure would bring shame on her family To my shame I refused to listen to her side of the story.Idioms (British English) to publish the names of people or organizations who have done something wrong or illegal More Like This Rhyming pairs in idioms doom and gloom, fair and square, high and dry, huff and puff, name and shame, slice and dice, thrills and spills, wear and tear, wheel and deal, wine and dineSee worksheet.
    put somebody/something to shame
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    to be much better than somebody/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.
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    (informal) used to say that somebody should feel ashamed for something they have said or done
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: shame