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 The verb is obsolete, but the past participle lives on.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


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