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[uh-sheymd] /əˈʃeɪmd/
feeling shame; distressed or embarrassed by feelings of guilt, foolishness, or disgrace:
He felt ashamed for having spoken so cruelly.
unwilling or restrained because of fear of shame, ridicule, or disapproval:
They were ashamed to show their work.
Chiefly Midland U.S. (especially of children) bashful; timid.
Origin of ashamed
before 1000; orig. past participle of earlier ashame (v.) to be ashamed, Middle English, Old English āscamian, equivalent to ā- a-3 + scamian to shame
Related forms
[uh-shey-mid-lee] /əˈʃeɪ mɪd li/ (Show IPA),
ashamedness, noun
half-ashamed, adjective
half-ashamedly, adverb
1. Ashamed, humiliated, mortified refer to a condition or feeling of discomfort or embarrassment. Ashamed focuses on the sense of one's own responsibility for an act, whether it is foolish, improper, or immoral: He was ashamed of his dishonesty. She was ashamed of her mistake. Humiliated stresses a feeling of being humbled or disgraced, without any necessary implication of guilt: He was humiliated by the king. Both words are used equally in situations in which one is felt to be responsible for the actions of another: Robert felt humiliated by his daughter's behavior. Mom was ashamed of the way I looked. Mortified represents an intensification of the feelings implied by the other two words: She was mortified by her clumsiness.
1, 2. proud. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ashamed
  • She kicked herself, ashamed about not having the nerve or the energy to directly address his e-mailed appellation.
  • The nation and its church were ashamed of themselves.
  • Finally one came forward, shrieking at the others that they should be ashamed.
  • The authors of this study should be ashamed of themselves.
  • The design review committee that approved this solution should be ashamed of their judgment.
  • And for the adults, don't be ashamed to pick up one of the newest books and take a trip down memory lane.
  • Pica is difficult to detect because patients are often ashamed to admit to such cravings.
  • She felt ashamed that she hadn't yet finished her second book.
  • They should show some pride in what they have, not hide it as if ashamed.
  • People are rarely ashamed of keeping money that they had coming.
British Dictionary definitions for ashamed


adjective (usually postpositive)
overcome with shame, guilt, or remorse
(foll by of) suffering from feelings of inferiority or shame in relation to (a person, thing, or deed)
(foll by to) unwilling through fear of humiliation, shame, etc
Derived Forms
ashamedly (əˈʃeɪmɪdlɪ) adverb
Word Origin
Old English āscamod, past participle of āscamian to shame, from scamushame
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ashamed

Old English asceamed "feeling shame, filled with shame," past participle of ascamian "to feel shame," from a- intensive prefix + scamian "be ashamed, blush; cause shame" (see shame (v.)). The verb is obsolete, but the past participle lives on. Meaning "reluctant through fear of shame" is c.1300.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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