Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “shame”

shame

noun (BAD FEELING)    /ʃeɪm/
C1 [U] an uncomfortable feeling of guilt or of being ashamed because of your own or someone else's bad behaviour: He said he felt no shame for what he had done. The children hung/bowed their heads in shame. The shame of the scandal was so great that he shot himself a few weeks later. You can't go out dressed like that - have you no shame (= don't you feel ashamed about being dressed like that)?Sadness and regret [U] loss of honour and respect: He thinks there's great shame in being out of work and unable to provide for his family. In some societies, if a woman leaves her husband, it brings shame on her and her family.Humiliating and degrading put sb to shame to make someone feel ashamed: It puts me to shame that I still haven't replied to David's letter.Sadness and regret to my shame I feel ashamed because: To my shame, I never wrote and thanked Mary for her present.Sadness and regret shame on you used to tell someone that they should feel sorry for something they did: Shame on you for being so unkind.humorous You mean you were in town and you didn't come and see us - shame on you!Humiliating and degrading
(Definition of shame noun (BAD FEELING) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of shame

Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Sadness and regret, but you might be interested in these topics from the Sadness topic area:

Definitions of “shame” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

closeness

the quality of knowing someone very well, liking them a lot, and wanting to spend a lot of time together

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More