- 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.
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
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 (v.)). The verb is obsolete, but the past participle lives on. Meaning “reluctant through fear of shame” is c.1300.