Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Language: Old English
Origin: scamu

shame

1 noun
     
shame1 S2
1

it's a shame/what a shame etc

spoken used when you wish a situation was different, and you feel sad or disappointed:
'She's failed her test again.' 'What a shame!'
It's a shame that you have to leave so soon.
What a shame we missed the wedding.
it is a shame to do something
It's a shame to cover this beautiful table with a tablecloth.
I can't imagine why they canceled your show, Tracy. That's such a shame.
a crying/great/terrible shame
It was a crying shame that they lost the game.
2 [uncountable] the feeling you have when you feel guilty and embarrassed because you, or someone who is close to you, have done something wrong:
He felt a deep sense of shame.
Maria blushed with shame.
To her shame (=it made her feel ashamed), she gained back all the weight she'd lost.
He's brought shame on the whole family.
hang/bow your head in shame (=look down, or feel like you should look down, because you feel so ashamed)
I bow my head in shame when I think of how I treated her.
There's no shame in (=it should not make you feel ashamed) saying 'I don't know'.
3 [uncountable] the ability to feel shame:
How could you do such a thing? Have you no shame?
4

shame on you/him/them etc

spoken used to say that someone should feel guilty or embarrassed because of something they have done:
Shame on you, Fred. I thought you were my friend!
5

put somebody/something to shame

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.

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