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See more synonyms for shamefaced on Thesaurus.com
  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

Related Words for shamefacedness

humiliation, guilt, confusion, irritation, remorse, scandal, stigma, contempt, disrepute, pang, abashment, mortification, obloquy, blot, reproach, dishonor, derision, discredit, stupefaction, compunction

Examples from the Web for shamefacedness

Historical Examples of shamefacedness

  • His mirth had some superficial signs of shamefacedness, but it was hopeful underneath.

    The Market-Place

    Harold Frederic

  • Her fear was very natural, but out of shamefacedness I did not like to retract.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete

    Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

  • Though modest and retiring in his disposition, he has no shamefacedness.

  • Let us never grow ashamed of our saving Saxon shamefacedness.

    Classic French Course in English

    William Cleaver Wilkinson

  • He waxed excited on a subject that drew him from his shamefacedness.

British Dictionary definitions for shamefacedness


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

Word Origin for shamefaced

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 shamefacedness



"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