- the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, ridiculous, etc., done by oneself or another: She was overcome with shame.
- susceptibility to this feeling: to be without shame.
- disgrace; ignominy: His actions brought shame upon his parents.
- a fact or circumstance bringing disgrace or regret: The bankruptcy of the business was a shame. It was a shame you couldn't come with us.
- to cause to feel shame; make ashamed: His cowardice shamed him.
- to publicly humiliate or shame for being or doing something specified (usually used in combination): kids who've been fat-shamed and bullied;dog-shaming pictures of canines chewing up shoes.
- to drive, force, etc., through shame: He shamed her into going.
- to cover with ignominy or reproach; disgrace.
- for shame! you should feel ashamed!: What a thing to say to your mother! For shame!
- put to shame,
- to cause to suffer shame or disgrace.
- to outdo; surpass: She played so well she put all the other tennis players to shame.
Origin of shame
SynonymsSee more synonyms for shame on Thesaurus.com
- sexton(def 2).
- the candle used to kindle the candles in the Hanukkah menorah.
Origin of shammes
Examples from the Web for shames
Here have I found that which shames and bankrupts the Ideal!Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete
Here is sanctity which shames our religions, and reality which discredits our heroes.Essays, Second Series
Ralph Waldo Emerson
No Shames; as you pegins this little job, it is besh you finish it yourself.The Giraffe Hunters
No, sir” replied the keeper; “but James is the English for Shames.
“What you remark is true likewise, Shames,” said the skipper.
- a painful emotion resulting from an awareness of having done something dishonourable, unworthy, degrading, etc
- capacity to feel such an emotion
- ignominy or disgrace
- a person or thing that causes this
- an occasion for regret, disappointment, etcit's a shame you can't come with us
- put to shame
- to disgrace
- to surpass totally
- Southern African informal
- an expression of sympathy
- an expression of pleasure or endearment
- to cause to feel shame
- to bring shame on; disgrace
- (often foll by into) to compel through a sense of shamehe shamed her into making an apology
- name and shame See name (def. 17)
- 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 and History for shames
Old English scamu, sceomu "feeling of guilt or disgrace; confusion caused by shame; disgrace, dishonor, insult, loss of esteem or reputation; shameful circumstance, what brings disgrace; modesty; private parts," from Proto-Germanic *skamo (cf. Old Saxon skama, Old Norse skömm, Swedish skam, Old Frisian scome, Dutch schaamte, Old High German scama, German Scham). The best guess is that this is from PIE *skem-, from *kem- "to cover" (covering oneself being a common expression of shame).
Until modern times English had a productive duplicate form in shand. An Old Norse word for it was kinnroði, literally "cheek-redness," hence, "blush of shame." Greek distinguished shame in the bad sense of "disgrace, dishonor" (aiskhyne) from shame in the good sense of "modesty, bashfulness" (aidos). To put (someone or something) to shame is mid-13c. Shame culture attested by 1947.
Old English scamian "be ashamed, blush, feel shame; cause shame," from the root of shame (n.). Cf. Old Saxon scamian, Dutch schamen, Old High German scamen, Danish skamme, Gothic skaman, German schämen sich. Related: Shamed; shaming.