shame Definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Definition of “shame” - English Dictionary

"shame" in American English

See all translations

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)







"shame" in British English

See all translations

shamenoun

uk   /ʃeɪm/  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!"

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • 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!

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

shameverb [T]

uk   /ʃeɪm/  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   /ʃeɪm/  us   /ʃeɪm/ mainly UK
(Definition of shame from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of shame?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website
There, their and they’re – which one should you use?
There, their and they’re – which one should you use?
by ,
April 27, 2016
by Liz Walter If you are a learner of English and you are confused about the words there, their and they’re, let me reassure you: many, many people with English as their first language share your problem! You only have to take a look at the ‘comments’ sections on the website of, for example, a popular

Read More 

Word of the Day

nutty

containing, tasting of, or similar to nuts

Word of the Day

bio-banding noun
bio-banding noun
April 25, 2016
in sport, grouping children according to their physical maturity rather than their age ‘When we’re grouping children for sports, we do it by age groups, but the problem is that, within those age groups, we get huge variations in biological age,’ said Dr Sean Cumming, senior lecturer at the University of Bath’s department for

Read More