• synonyms


[ 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.


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Nearby words

ash-blond, ash-shaytān, asha, ashab, ashake, ashamed, ashanti, ashbery, ashbery, john, ashburton, ashby-de-la-zouch

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
1, 2 proud.
Related formsa·sham·ed·ly [uh-shey-mid-lee] /əˈʃeɪ mɪd li/, adverba·sham·ed·ness, nounhalf-a·shamed, adjectivehalf-a·sham·ed·ly, adverb

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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ashamed

British Dictionary definitions for ashamed


/ (əˈʃeɪmd) /

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 Formsashamedly (əˈʃeɪmɪdlɪ), adverb

Word Origin for ashamed

Old English āscamod, past participle of āscamian to shame, from scamu shame
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

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