[ shah-muh s ]
/ ˈʃɑ məs /

noun, plural sha·mo·sim [shah-maw-sim] /ʃɑˈmɔ sɪm/.

Definition for shames (2 of 3)

[ sheym ]
/ ʃeɪm /


verb (used with object), shamed, sham·ing.

Origin of shame

before 900; (noun) Middle English; Old English sc(e)amu; cognate with German Scham, Old Norse skǫmm; (v.) Middle English schamen, shamien to be ashamed, Old English sc(e)amian, derivative of the noun


1 Shame, embarrassment, mortification, humiliation, chagrin designate different kinds or degrees of painful feeling caused by injury to one's pride or self-respect. Shame is a painful feeling caused by the consciousness or exposure of unworthy or indecent conduct or circumstances: One feels shame at being caught in a lie. It is similar to guilt in the nature and origin of the feeling. Embarrassment usually refers to a feeling less painful than that of shame, one associated with less serious situations, often of a social nature: embarrassment over breaking a teacup at a party. Mortification is a more painful feeling, akin to shame but also more likely to arise from specifically social circumstances: his mortification at being singled out for rebuke. Humiliation is mortification at being humbled in the estimation of others: Being ignored gives one a sense of humiliation. Chagrin is humiliation mingled with vexation or anger: She felt chagrin at her failure to remember her promise.
5 humiliate, mortify, humble, abash, embarrass.



Definition for shames (3 of 3)


or sha·mes

[ shah-muh s ]
/ ˈʃɑ məs /

noun, plural sham·mo·sim [shah-maw-sim] /ʃɑˈmɔ sɪm/.

the candle used to kindle the candles in the Hanukkah menorah.

Origin of shammes

1945–50; < Yiddish shames < Hebrew shammāsh server, attendant Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for shames

British Dictionary definitions for shames (1 of 2)

/ (ʃeɪm) /



Southern African informal
  1. an expression of sympathy
  2. an expression of pleasure or endearment

verb (tr)

Derived forms of shame

shamable or shameable, adjective

Word Origin for shame

Old English scamu; related to Old Norse skömm, Old High German skama

British Dictionary definitions for shames (2 of 2)



/ (ˈʃɑːməs, Hebrew ʃaˈmaʃ) /

noun plural shammosim or shammashim (Hebrew ʃaˈmɔsɪm) Judaism

an official acting as the beadle, sexton, and caretaker of a synagogue
the extra candle used on the Feast of Hanukkah to kindle the lamps or candles of the menorah

Word Origin for shammes

from Hebrew shāmmāsh, from Aramaic shĕmāsh to serve
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

Idioms and Phrases with shames


In addition to the idiom beginning with shame

  • shame on you

also see:

  • crying shame
  • for shame
  • put to shame
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.