If you’re looking for synonyms for the word “ashamed,” there are plenty of options to choose from. Whether you’re trying to expand your vocabulary or searching for the right word to describe a feeling of guilt or embarrassment, there are many words that can help you convey your message more effectively.
What Is “Ashamed”?
Ashamed refers to the feeling of embarrassment, guilt, or discomfort that arises when someone has done something wrong, inappropriate, or humiliating. It is a common emotional reaction to one’s own actions, failures, or mistakes.
- He was ashamed of cheating on the exam and regretted his actions.
- After accidentally spilling her drink on the host’s new carpet, Sarah felt ashamed and immediately offered to help clean up the mess.
- When the truth about his dishonesty was revealed, Tom felt deeply ashamed and sought to make amends for his actions.
List of Synonyms for “Ashamed”
- In great need
Types of Synonyms for “Ashamed”
In the realm of emotional states, feeling ashamed can vary from mild embarrassment to deep regret. Here are some synonyms that reflect emotional levels of shame:
- You feel deep regret for a wrongdoing.
- “After realizing the impact of her words, she was truly remorseful.”
- This implies a strong feeling of guilt and the wish to make amends.
- “His contrite apology showed his sincerity.”
Shame often manifests through physical expressions:
- Demonstrating embarrassment or shame through a shy or bashful demeanor.
- “He gave a sheepish grin when he was caught arriving late.”
- Shows shame through a reddening of the face.
- “Caught in a lie, she couldn’t help blushing under the scrutiny.”
Behavioral states reflecting a sense of shame might involve actions or attitudes that display one’s inner feelings of guilt:
- Actively seeking forgiveness for one’s sins or misdeeds.
- “She was penitent after her careless remarks negatively affected her friend.”
- Feeling sorry about something that has been done or cannot be undone.
- “He was regretful for his abrupt departure without saying goodbye.“
In social situations, being ashamed can influence how one is perceived or behaves in public:
- A feeling of disappointment or distress caused by public embarrassment.
- “She was distinctly chagrined by her unintended tactless comment at the dinner party.”
- Feeling uneasy or embarrassed, especially in a social situation.
- “After tripping on stage, he felt discomfited for the rest of his speech.”
Common Synonyms for Ashamed
Ashamed vs. Embarrassed
Although the words “ashamed” and “embarrassed” are often used interchangeably, there are some subtle differences between the two.
The main difference between the two is that “ashamed” is typically used to describe a feeling of guilt or remorse, while “embarrassed” is used to describe a feeling of self-consciousness or awkwardness.
- If you lie to your best friend, you might feel ashamed of yourself for betraying their trust and damaging your relationship.
- If you mispronounce a word in front of your coworkers, you might feel embarrassed about your mistake and worried about looking foolish.
Ashamed vs. Shy
While both “ashamed” and “shy” are adjectives that describe feelings of discomfort in social situations, they have distinct differences. “Shy” refers to a feeling of timidity or reservation in the company of others. It can be a personality trait or a temporary feeling. On the other hand, “ashamed” refers to a sense of shame or guilt about oneself or something one did. It is usually a more intense feeling than shyness and can be long-lasting.
Another difference between the two words is that “shy” is often used to describe animals or children, while “ashamed” is used more commonly to describe adults.
- You might feel shy when meeting new people at a party, but you wouldn’t feel ashamed unless you did something embarrassing or wrong.
- A child might be shy around strangers, but they wouldn’t feel ashamed unless they did something to cause embarrassment.
Ashamed vs. Guilty
The words “ashamed” and “guilty” are often used interchangeably, but they have distinct meanings. Ashamed refers to feeling embarrassed or humiliated about something you have done or that has happened to you. Guilty, on the other hand, refers to being responsible for a wrongdoing or a crime.
- You might feel ashamed if you trip and fall in public.
- You might feel guilty if you lie to someone about something important.
Synonyms of “Ashamed” in Different Contexts
In formal writing or speech, your choice of synonyms for “ashamed” can convey professionalism and command respect. When articulating a sense of shame in academic papers, legal documents, or professional communication, consider these alternatives:
- You may use this when you want to express extreme embarrassment or humiliation due to one’s actions or situations associated with oneself.
- The CEO was mortified when he realized he had mistakenly addressed the client by the wrong name during the meeting.
- If you seek to express sincere remorse or guilt, especially in a religious or moral context, this term is apt.
- The politician appeared contrite as she publicly apologized for her inappropriate remarks.
- This is suitable when you want to emphasize a strong sense of repentance and a desire to make amends for wrongdoing.
- In his letter to the court, the embezzler expressed a penitent attitude and a willingness to accept the consequences of his actions.
Informal And Slang Terms
When expressing that you’re feeling ashamed, several informal and slang terms can convey this emotion in a more relaxed or colloquial environment. Here are some of the most common terms and their uses:
- This term describes a more intense feeling of shame or embarrassment. It is often used to describe a situation in which someone has been publicly embarrassed or shamed.
- She felt humiliated when her mistake was pointed out in front of the entire team.
- Displaying embarrassment from shame or a lack of self-confidence.
- He gave a sheepish apology after realizing his error.
In the realm of slang, expressions vary widely and can change with time and culture. Here’s a succinct list of slang synonyms that might communicate a sense of being ashamed:
- Caught in the act and feeling ashamed about it.
- He was busted for cheating on the exam and felt deeply ashamed.
Cringy or Cringeworthy
- Describe an action that makes you feel ashamed by association or recall feelings of second-hand embarrassment.
- The cringy speech at the conference made everyone uncomfortable.
Literary And Poetic Variants
When you express the concept of being ashamed through literature and poetry, you find a wealth of synonyms with nuanced connotations.
- Often found in literature, “abashed” implies a sudden embarrassment or loss of confidence in front of others.
- You stood there, abashed by the unexpected accolade.
- This synonym conveys a sense of disappointment mixed with embarrassment about one’s actions or decisions.
- Your chagrined silence spoke volumes after the misstep.
- In poetic terms, being penitent emphasizes a regretful acknowledgment of one’s mistakes, often with a moral or religious undertone.
- A penitent whisper escaped your lips, seeking absolution.
- Similar to “penitent,” this implies a deep feeling of remorse and a desire for atonement.
- Your contrite heart longed for a chance to mend the wrongs.
Absolute and Near Synonyms for Ashamed
Absolute Synonyms for Ashamed
|Embarrassed||feeling self-conscious or ashamed due to a particular event or circumstance|
|Shamefaced||showing embarrassment or shame due to some misconduct or failure|
|Humiliated||feeling deeply embarrassed or shamed by another’s demeaning behavior|
|Abashed||feeling uneasy or embarrassed, leading to a loss of confidence|
|Humbled||feeling modest or low in importance after being humbled or shamed|
Near Synonyms for Ashamed
|Apologetic||feeling or expressing remorse or regret for a mistake or offense|
|Remorseful||feeling deep regret or guilt for a wrong committed|
|Repentant||showing sincere regret and remorse for one’s past actions or behavior|
|Contrite||expressing sincere remorse and a strong wish to rectify a mistake|
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some alternative words to describe feeling ashamed?
There are numerous synonyms to describe feeling ashamed, such as guilty, embarrassed, sheepish, contrite, and regretful. It’s important to choose the most accurate word based on the context and situation.
How can I express shame or guilt in different words?
To express shame or guilt in different words, consider using terms like remorseful, penitent, repentant, or even apologetic. These words communicate a similar sentiment and can convey the feeling of shame or guilt.
Can you provide some synonyms for feeling ashamed in a more casual context?
Sure! In casual contexts, you can use words like blush, cringe, or even “red-faced” to describe the feeling of being ashamed. These words have a more informal and lighthearted tone, making them appropriate for less serious situations.
What are other expressions for being ashamed to admit something?
When someone is ashamed to admit something, they may be described as reluctant or hesitant. Similar expressions include being “shy to confess,” “unwilling to disclose,” or “having a hard time owning up to something.” These phrases effectively communicate the difficulty one faces when admitting something they feel ashamed of.
What words can replace ashamed when someone feels shy or self-conscious?
If someone is feeling shy or self-conscious, consider using words like bashful, diffident, timorous, or introverted. These terms convey a sense of nervousness or self-awareness which is distinct from the morally charged feeling of shame associated with being ashamed.