ETYM Old Eng. shame, schame, as. scamu, sceamu.
1. A painful emotion resulting from an awareness of inadequacy or guilt.
2. A state of dishonor; SYN. disgrace, ignominy.
Emotion or feeling of embarrassment or humiliation when previously concealed shortcomings become known either to oneself or to others. Shame involves one's fundamental sense of self, and the capacity for shame is part of almost everyone's makeup. It is believed to have its origins in early psychosexual development, emerging in the second or third year of life when a child's sense of self is developing.
Shame can become pathological, to the extent that every little rebuke or admission of failure results in distress. It is often a cause of irrational outbursts of rage and probably an important factor in family violence.