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[sheym-fuh l] /ˈʃeɪm fəl/
causing shame:
shameful behavior.
disgraceful or scandalous:
shameful treatment.
Origin of shameful
before 950; Middle English; Old English scamful. See shame, -ful
Related forms
shamefully, adverb
shamefulness, noun
Can be confused
shameful, shameless.
1. mortifying, humiliating. 2. dishonorable, ignominious, vile, base, low.
2. honorable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for shameful
  • But now all of me was buried underground-my shameful silk bow, my funeral robe and my now-cooked body.
  • The medical profession is shameful in this regard, and this test won't help.
  • The lack of understanding of basic science by the politicians of both parties is shameful.
  • The news media have been at their usual irresponsible, self-interested and shameful best here.
  • To boil that diversity down to a single false comparison is lazy and shameful.
  • It is shameful that a city, will try to solve this problem while the state stands idle.
  • These were driven entirely by a few people at the top, and they were shameful and wholly unnecessary.
  • My point is that even the shameful truth doesn't necessarily sink you.
  • Promoting prestige over education is shameful behavior which undermines the productivity of any society.
  • We should be celebrating the human body, not insisting that certain parts of it are shameful and corrupting.
British Dictionary definitions for shameful


causing or deserving shame; scandalous
Derived Forms
shamefully, adverb
shamefulness, noun
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 shameful

Old English scamful "modest;" see shame (n.) + -ful. Meaning "disgraceful, causing shame" is from c.1300. Related: Shamefully; shamefulness. Middle English shamely (adv.) "shamefully" for some reason has fallen from use. Old English scamlic (adj.) "shameful, disgraceful," but this also could mean "modest."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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