1 noun
1 (U) the uncomfortable feeling of being guilty and embarrassed that you have when you have done something wrong: a deep sense of shame | to your shame (=making you feel ashamed): She realized to her shame that she had forgotten Nina's birthday. | hang/bow your head in shame (=look downwards and avoid looking at other people because you feel ashamed)
2 it's a shame (that)/what a shame! spoken used to say that a situation is disappointing, and you wish things had happened differently: It's a shame you have to leave so soon. | Oh it's raining. What a shame!
3 Shame on you! spoken used to tell someone that they should feel shame because of something they have done
4 (uncountable only in questions and negatives) the ability to feel shame: How could you do such a thing? Have you no shame?
5 put sb/sth to shame informal to be so much better than someone or something else that it makes the other thing seem very bad or ordinary: His cooking puts mine to shame.
6 (U) loss of honour and respect: there is no shame in sth (=it should not make you feel ashamed): There's no shame in being poor. | bring shame on sb: You've brought shame on this family.
USAGE NOTE: SHAME WORD CHOICE: shame, embarrassment, ashamed, feel silly, embarrassed Shame is an uncomfortable feeling you have when you have done something wrong, and you feel that people will no longer respect you. If you make a mistake this may cause embarrassment, but not usually shame because shame is much stronger. Ashamed (adj) is not quite so strong, but still not usually used about unimportant or accidental things: I couldn't think of anything to say and felt silly/embarrassed (NOT ashamed). However, someone might be ashamed if they are caught cheating in a test, for example, because they have done something morally wrong. 2 verb
1 (T) shame sb to make someone feel ashamed: It shames me to say it, but I lied.
2 shame sb into doing sth to force someone to do something by making them feel ashamed: His wife shamed him into handing the money back.
3 to be so much better than someone else that you make them seem bad or feel embarrassed: They have a training record that would shame most other companies.
4 make someone feel that they have lost honour and respect: shame sb: Your cowardice has shamed us all.

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.


Look at other dictionaries:

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