• synonyms


  1. modest or bashful.
  2. showing shame: shamefaced apologies.
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Origin of shamefaced

1545–55; alteration of shamefast by folk etymology; see shame, faced
Related formsshame·fac·ed·ly [sheym-fey-sid-lee, sheym-feyst-lee] /ˌʃeɪmˈfeɪ sɪd li, ˈʃeɪmˌfeɪst li/, adverbshame·fac·ed·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for shamefacedly

Historical Examples

  • He hesitated, then said shamefacedly, 'They don't want him to go.'

    Heart of Darkness

    Joseph Conrad

  • He hitched his horse to the hook, shamefacedly, and entered the gallery.

  • "Not good," said Alden, shamefacedly, digging at the soil with his heel.

  • "I don't know what you'll think of me, boys," said he, shamefacedly.

    Jim Spurling, Fisherman

    Albert Walter Tolman

  • "I didn't know I could lose my temper like that," replied the other shamefacedly.

    Left Guard Gilbert

    Ralph Henry Barbour

British Dictionary definitions for shamefacedly


  1. bashful or modest
  2. showing a sense of shame
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Derived Formsshamefacedly (ʃeɪmˈfeɪsɪdlɪ, ˈʃeɪmˌfeɪstlɪ), adverbshamefacedness, noun

Word Origin

C16: alteration of earlier shamefast, from Old English sceamfaest; see shame, fast 1
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 shamefacedly



"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]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper