[ uh-sheymd ]
See synonyms for ashamed on
  1. feeling shame; distressed or embarrassed by feelings of guilt, foolishness, or disgrace: He felt ashamed for having spoken so cruelly.

  2. unwilling or restrained because of fear of shame, ridicule, or disapproval: They were ashamed to show their work.

  1. Chiefly Midland U.S. (especially of children) bashful; timid.

Origin of ashamed

First recorded before 1000; originally past participle of earlier ashame (verb) “to be ashamed,” Middle English, Old English āscamian, equivalent to ā- a prefix + scamian “to shame”; see origin at a-3, shame

synonym study For ashamed

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.

Opposites for ashamed

Other words from ashamed

  • a·sham·ed·ly [uh-shey-mid-lee], /əˈʃeɪ mɪd li/, adverb
  • a·sham·ed·ness, noun
  • half-a·shamed, adjective
  • half-a·sham·ed·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use ashamed in a sentence

  • The youthful runaway ashamedly lowered his head—in reality he adored music with all the fulness of his cruel, faunlike nature.

    Visionaries | James Huneker
  • She looked obliquely at her reflection and ran her hands ashamedly up and down her body, and tried for a word and failed.

    The Judge | Rebecca West
  • Secretly, half-ashamedly, are such missives carefully put away.

    Norman Ten Hundred | A. Stanley Blicq
  • Nell broke from him—half ashamedly, for was she, indeed, blushing?

    Nell, of Shorne Mills | Charles Garvice
  • "I'm not thinking of going myself," he said, rather ashamedly.

    The Uttermost Farthing | Marie Belloc Lowndes

British Dictionary definitions for ashamed


/ (əˈʃeɪmd) /

adjective(usually postpositive)
  1. overcome with shame, guilt, or remorse

  2. (foll by of) suffering from feelings of inferiority or shame in relation to (a person, thing, or deed)

  1. (foll by to) unwilling through fear of humiliation, shame, etc

Origin of ashamed

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

Derived forms of ashamed

  • ashamedly (əˈʃeɪmɪdlɪ), adverb

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