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[sheym-feyst] /ˈʃeɪmˌfeɪst/
modest or bashful.
showing shame:
shamefaced apologies.
Origin of shamefaced
1545-55; alteration of shamefast by folk etymology; see shame, faced
Related forms
[sheym-fey-sid-lee, sheym-feyst-lee] /ˌʃeɪmˈfeɪ sɪd li, ˈʃeɪmˌfeɪst li/ (Show IPA),
shamefacedness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for shamefaced
Historical Examples
  • It brought them back, a shamefaced crew, laughing at each other.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • "I am going to tell you a secret," he said at last, in a shamefaced way.

    Viviette William J. Locke
  • Kirkwood could see his shamefaced, sidelong glances; and despised him properly for them.

    The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
  • Now her cheeks suddenly flushed a burning, shamefaced crimson.

    The Law-Breakers Ridgwell Cullum
  • Either she is mistaken, or, the Little'un has forgotten, and is shamefaced.

    Brighter Britain! (Volume 1 of 2) William Delisle Hay
  • "Step in, Pete;" and, with a shamefaced look, Pete rolled into the carriage.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • They pursued me rather: vague, shadowy, restless, shamefaced.

    'Twixt Land & Sea Joseph Conrad
  • With shamefaced, submissive mien he sheathes the thin, gleaming blade.

    Oswald Langdon Carson Jay Lee
  • She smiled and seemed glad at heart, but was shamefaced and downcast.

  • "I couldn't find my tongue when I was with the King," I answered with a shamefaced laugh.

    Simon Dale

    Anthony Hope
British Dictionary definitions for shamefaced


bashful or modest
showing a sense of shame
Derived Forms
shamefacedly (ʃeɪmˈfeɪsɪdlɪ; ˈʃeɪmˌfeɪstlɪ) adverb
shamefacedness, noun
Word Origin
C16: alteration of earlier shamefast, from Old English sceamfaest; see shame, fast1
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
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Word Origin and History for shamefaced

"modest, bashful," 1550s, folk etymology alteration of shamefast, from Old English scamfæst "bashful," literally "restrained by shame," or else "firm in modesty," from shame (n.) + -fæst, adjectival suffix (see fast (adj.)). Related: Shamefacedly; shamefacedness.

shamefaced, -fast. It is true that the second is the original form, that -faced is due to a mistake, & that the notion attached to the word is necessarily affected in some slight degree by the change. But those who, in the flush of this discovery, would revert to -fast in ordinary use are rightly rewarded with the name of pedants .... [Fowler]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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