Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[uh-sheymd] /əˈʃeɪmd/
feeling shame; distressed or embarrassed by feelings of guilt, foolishness, or disgrace:
He felt ashamed for having spoken so cruelly.
unwilling or restrained because of fear of shame, ridicule, or disapproval:
They were ashamed to show their work.
Chiefly Midland U.S. (especially of children) bashful; timid.
Origin of ashamed
before 1000; orig. past participle of earlier ashame (v.) to be ashamed, Middle English, Old English āscamian, equivalent to ā- a-3 + scamian to shame
Related forms
[uh-shey-mid-lee] /əˈʃeɪ mɪd li/ (Show IPA),
ashamedness, noun
half-ashamed, adjective
half-ashamedly, adverb
1, 2. proud.
Synonym Study
1. Ashamed, humiliated, mortified refer to a condition or feeling of discomfort or embarrassment. Ashamed focuses on the sense of one's own responsibility for an act, whether it is foolish, improper, or immoral: He was ashamed of his dishonesty. She was ashamed of her mistake. Humiliated stresses a feeling of being humbled or disgraced, without any necessary implication of guilt: He was humiliated by the king. Both words are used equally in situations in which one is felt to be responsible for the actions of another: Robert felt humiliated by his daughter's behavior. Mom was ashamed of the way I looked. Mortified represents an intensification of the feelings implied by the other two words: She was mortified by her clumsiness. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for ashamed
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He was ashamed, and determined to make amends by a frank confession.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • No, not ashamed, mother; but I thought it was not business-like, and seemed too much like a schoolboy.

    Life in London Edwin Hodder
  • But she was sure however credulous she might have been, she had done nothing to be ashamed of.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • Some of us will have to be ashamed of our outcry after our dead.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • It is a painful truth that by daylight he was ashamed of his part of the transaction.

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
British Dictionary definitions for ashamed


adjective (usually postpositive)
overcome with shame, guilt, or remorse
(foll by of) suffering from feelings of inferiority or shame in relation to (a person, thing, or deed)
(foll by to) unwilling through fear of humiliation, shame, etc
Derived Forms
ashamedly (əˈʃeɪmɪdlɪ) adverb
Word Origin
Old English āscamod, past participle of āscamian to shame, from scamushame
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for ashamed

Old English asceamed "feeling shame, filled with shame," past participle of ascamian "to feel shame," from a- intensive prefix + scamian "be ashamed, blush; cause shame" (see shame (v.)). The verb is obsolete, but the past participle lives on. Meaning "reluctant through fear of shame" is c.1300.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for ashamed

Word Value for ashamed

Scrabble Words With Friends