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[sheym-fuh l] /ˈʃeɪm fəl/
causing shame:
shameful behavior.
disgraceful or scandalous:
shameful treatment.
Origin of shameful
before 950; Middle English; Old English scamful. See shame, -ful
Related forms
shamefully, adverb
shamefulness, noun
Can be confused
shameful, shameless.
1. mortifying, humiliating. 2. dishonorable, ignominious, vile, base, low.
2. honorable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for shameful
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Not shameful, this: the honest pride of a woman in being chosen from many.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • But you are fitted for society, and it is shameful to have you exiled from it.

    Lady Susan Jane Austen
  • The scene was so shameful that I could scarce bear to look upon it.

    In the Valley Harold Frederic
  • You're to be congratulated; it's a shameful waste of time and money.

    The Fortune Hunter Louis Joseph Vance
  • She had to sacrifice her sinful and shameful affections; no more.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
British Dictionary definitions for shameful


causing or deserving shame; scandalous
Derived Forms
shamefully, adverb
shamefulness, noun
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 shameful

Old English scamful "modest;" see shame (n.) + -ful. Meaning "disgraceful, causing shame" is from c.1300. Related: Shamefully; shamefulness. Middle English shamely (adv.) "shamefully" for some reason has fallen from use. Old English scamlic (adj.) "shameful, disgraceful," but this also could mean "modest."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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