To feel shame is to feel embarrassed about behavior, or to feel bad about a personal situation.

  • The shame that Roy feels about his behavior was revealed by his blushing cheeks.
  • Todd brought shame upon his family when he went to jail for selling drugs.
  • The lawyer shamed the defendant into admitting his guilt before a packed courtroom.
  • A person who is incapable of feeling shame does not have much of a conscience.
  • It’s a shame to waste food.
  • It’s a shame when the world turns its back on people in need.

The word "shame" can also be used as a verb. To shame someone is to make that person’s behavior public.

simplepastpast participle
  • Miss Johnson shamed a male student by calling out his inappropriate behavior towards a female student.
  • He was shamed by the teacher. (This sentence is in the passive voice.)
  • Phyllis felt fat-shamed by someone who commented on how much food she eats.
  • Some people take to Twitter in order to shame others publicly.

The word "ashamed" is an adjective used to describe how a person feels.

  • The teacher told Joe that he should feel ashamed of himself for his behavior.
  • Joe feels ashamed of himself.
  • He’s ashamed of what he has done.

The word "shameful" is also an adjective used to describe a situation:

  • It’s shameful that so little attention is given to the needs of the poor.
  • The demonstration by the white supremacists was a shameful display of hatred and racism.
  • The leaders of the city are shamefully ignorant of the problems created by a local factory. (The word "shamefully" is an adverb.)

There are some common expressions that use the word "shame."

  • That’s a shame. (That’s too bad. I feel sorry for that person or the situation)
  • What a shame! (That’s a terrible situation and a big loss.)
  • Shame on you! (Your behavior was bad.)
  • Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. (I should have learned not to trust you after the first time you tricked me.)

shame  He feels ashamed of himself and is begging for forgiveness.

This page was published on December 8, 2017