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Free Dictionary states that one of the definitions for 'opprobrium' is

Disgrace arising from exceedingly shameful conduct; ignominy.

Dictionary.com states it means

the disgrace or the reproach incurred by conduct considered outrageously shameful; infamy.

What I'd like to know is, who feels disgraced when using the word 'opprobrium'. Is it the person who does the shameful act, or do those who know of the shameful act committed by another feel disgraced?

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Disgrace is not exactly something that you feel: it pretends to be "objective", in that you can be a disgrace, and I can say "you are a disgrace", but I can't say "I feel disgrace", or "you feel disgrace". It is like scandal or humiliation. Of course the question "who determines whether or not this is a disgrace?" is a difficult one: the party using the label claims he knows this objectively, but other might disagree. It is in the eye of the beholder. –  Cerberus Jan 27 '13 at 8:09
    
Are you sure that disgrace is not something that can be felt? Thanks for the response. –  user36521 Jan 27 '13 at 8:13
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You can feel that something is a disgrace, as in "be of the opinion that" it is a disgrcae, but you can't feel disgrace as you can feel anger. –  Cerberus Jan 27 '13 at 9:17
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But one can feel disgraced. Disgrace. a social status, is not an emotion, so it can't be felt in the same way as emotions are "felt". –  user21497 Jan 27 '13 at 13:02
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What @Cerberus said. Like beauty, opprobrium is in the eye of the beholder. –  FumbleFingers Jan 27 '13 at 16:20
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2 Answers 2

It is generally the disgrace attaching to a person guilty of dishonourable conduct. Just occasionally it is the expression of disapproval of such conduct.

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The Oxford Learner's Dictionary's definition of opprobrium is quite specific:

severe criticism of a person, country, etc. by a large group of people

The MacMillan Dictionary defines opprobrium on a more personal level, but still makes the flow of disgrace clear:

very strong criticism of something that you do not approve of

As Barrie England stated, the disgrace attaches to the entity that committed the act.

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