Etymology
Advertisement

shamefaced (adj.)

"modest, bashful," 1550s, folk etymology alteration of shamefast, from Old English scamfæst "bashful," literally "restrained by shame," or else "firm in modesty," from shame (n.) + -fæst, adjectival suffix (see fast (adj.)). Related: Shamefacedly; shamefacedness.

shamefaced, -fast. It is true that the second is the original form, that -faced is due to a mistake, & that the notion attached to the word is necessarily affected in some slight degree by the change. But those who, in the flush of this discovery, would revert to -fast in ordinary use are rightly rewarded with the name of pedants .... [Fowler]

Others are reading

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of shamefaced

shamefaced (adj.)
extremely modest or shy; "cheerfully bearing reproaches but shamefaced at praise"- H.O.Taylor;
shamefaced (adj.)
showing a sense of shame;
Synonyms: sheepish
shamefaced (adj.)
showing a sense of guilt; "the hangdog and shamefaced air of the retreating enemy"- Eric Linklater;
Synonyms: guilty / hangdog / shamed
From wordnet.princeton.edu