shame Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “shame” in the English Dictionary

"shame" in British English

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shamenoun

uk   us   /ʃeɪm/
  • shame noun (BAD LUCK)

A2 [S] If something is ​described as a shame, it is ​disappointing or not ​satisfactory: [+ that] It's a (​great/​real) shame that the ​event had to be ​cancelled. [+ to infinitive] Have some more ​vegetables - it would be a shame towaste them. "Douglas had to ​miss the ​schoolconcert because he was ​ill." "Oh, what a shame/that's a shame!"

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  • shame noun (BAD FEELING)

C1 [U] an ​uncomfortablefeeling of guilt or of being ​ashamed because of ​your own or someone else's ​badbehaviour: He said he ​felt no shame for what he had done. The ​children hung/​bowedtheirheads in shame. The shame of the ​scandal was so ​great that he ​shot himself a few ​weekslater. You can't go out ​dressed like that - have you no shame (= don't you ​feelashamed about being ​dressed like that)? [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.put sb to shame UK to make someone ​feelashamed: It puts me to shame that I still haven't ​replied to David's ​letter.to my shame I ​feelashamed because: To my shame, I never ​wrote and ​thanked Mary for her ​present.shame on you used to ​tell someone that they should ​feelsorry for something they did: Shame on you for being so ​mean.humorous You were in ​town and you didn't come and ​see us - shame on you!

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shameverb [T]

uk   us   /ʃeɪm/
  • shame verb [T] (BAD FEELING)

to make someone ​feelashamed, or to make someone or something ​losehonour and ​respect: It shames me that I ​treated her so ​badly. The ​behaviour of a few ​children has shamed the ​wholeschool. to ​publiclycriticize and ​drawattention to something someone has done, ​especially on the internet: A ​girl has shamed her ​library for saying she couldn't take ​part in a "​boys only" ​roboticscourse.shame sb into/out of sth to ​cause someone to do or not to do something by making them ​feelashamed: [+ -ing verb] The ​citycouncil was shamed into taking ​action after ​criticism in the ​national and ​localmedia.

shameexclamation

uk   us   /ʃeɪm/ mainly UK
used to ​expressdisapproval of something that a ​publicspeaker is saying: To ​cries of "Shame!", the ​ministerannounced that ​taxes were being ​increased.
(Definition of shame from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"shame" in American English

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shamenoun [U]

 us   /ʃeɪm/
  • shame noun [U] (GUILT)

an ​uncomfortablefeeling of ​guilt or of being ​ashamed because of ​your own or someone else’s ​badbehavior: He ​pointed out that ​societyneeded to ​restore a ​sense of shame about ​certain things.
  • shame noun [U] (MISFORTUNE)

an ​unlucky or ​disappointingsituation: What a shame that they ​left just before we ​arrived. [+ to infinitive] Have some more ​vegetables – it would be a shame to ​waste them.

shameverb [T]

 us   /ʃeɪm/
to make someone ​feelguilty or ​ashamed: My ​aunt told us that in her ​day women who weren’t ​married by the ​age of 25 were ​considered "​oldmaids" and were so shamed by ​theirfamilies that they would do anything to get ​married.
(Definition of shame from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“shame” in American English

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