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shamefaced

[sheym-feyst] /ˈʃeɪmˌfeɪst/
adjective
1.
modest or bashful.
2.
showing shame:
shamefaced apologies.
Origin of shamefaced
1545-1555
1545-55; alteration of shamefast by folk etymology; see shame, faced
Related forms
shamefacedly
[sheym-fey-sid-lee, sheym-feyst-lee] /ˌʃeɪmˈfeɪ sɪd li, ˈʃeɪmˌfeɪst li/ (Show IPA),
adverb
shamefacedness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for shamefaced
Historical Examples
  • A little grin, almost a shamefaced grin, I thought, broke his round moist face up into fat wrinkles.

    Those Times And These Irvin S. Cobb
  • Kirkwood could see his shamefaced, sidelong glances; and despised him properly for them.

    The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
  • "I don't know as I dare tell," Charlie replied, with a shamefaced laugh.

    In Blue Creek Caon Anna Chapin Ray
  • Now her cheeks suddenly flushed a burning, shamefaced crimson.

    The Law-Breakers Ridgwell Cullum
  • For some minutes he continued to reply dolefully, and with a kind of shamefaced reluctance, to the questions piled upon him.

    The Market-Place Harold Frederic
  • Either she is mistaken, or, the Little'un has forgotten, and is shamefaced.

    Brighter Britain! (Volume 1 of 2) William Delisle Hay
  • After this second failure Odin again called a council of sir in Gladsheim, and Thor stood among the others, silent and shamefaced.

    The Heroes of Asgard Annie Keary
  • They pursued me rather: vague, shadowy, restless, shamefaced.

    'Twixt Land & Sea Joseph Conrad
  • Was not this shamefaced pawning as vulgar, as wounding to the artist's soul as the turning out of tawdry melodies?

  • She smiled and seemed glad at heart, but was shamefaced and downcast.

British Dictionary definitions for shamefaced

shamefaced

/ˈʃeɪmˌfeɪst/
adjective
1.
bashful or modest
2.
showing a sense of shame
Derived Forms
shamefacedly (ʃeɪmˈfeɪsɪdlɪ; ˈʃeɪmˌfeɪstlɪ) adverb
shamefacedness, noun
Word Origin
C16: alteration of earlier shamefast, from Old English sceamfaest; see shame, fast1
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 shamefaced
adj.

"modest, bashful," 1550s, folk etymology alteration of shamefast, from Old English scamfæst "bashful," literally "restrained by shame," or else "firm in modesty," from shame (n.) + -fæst, adjectival suffix (see fast (adj.)). Related: Shamefacedly; shamefacedness.

shamefaced, -fast. It is true that the second is the original form, that -faced is due to a mistake, & that the notion attached to the word is necessarily affected in some slight degree by the change. But those who, in the flush of this discovery, would revert to -fast in ordinary use are rightly rewarded with the name of pedants .... [Fowler]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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