Shame, disgrace - Berry's New Testament Synonyms

Shame, disgrace

αἰδώς, αἰσχύνη, ἐντροπή, (σωφροσύνη).

αἰδώς is the feeling of innate moral repugnance to doing a dishonorable act. This moral repugnance is not found in αἰσχύνη, which is rather the feeling of disgrace which results from doing an unworthy thing, or the fear of such disgrace which serves to prevent its being done. αἰδώς is thus the nobler word, αἰσχύνη having regard chiefly to the opinions of others. αἰδώς is the fear of doing a shameful thing, αἰσχύνη is chiefly the fear of being found out. "αἰδώς would always restrain a good man from an unworthy act, while αἰσχύνη might sometimes restrain a bad one" (Trench). ἐντροπή stands somewhat between the other two words in meaning, but in the N.T. leans to the nobler side, indicating that wholesome shame which leads a man to consideration of his condition if it is unworthy, and to a change of conduct for the better. σωφροσύνη, self-command, may not seem to have much in common with these three words. As a matter of fact, however, it expresses positively that which αἰδώς expresses negatively.