Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To cast a shadow over; darken or obscure.
  • transitive v. To make insignificant by comparison; dominate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To obscure something by casting a shadow.
  • v. To dominate something and make it seem insignificant.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To throw a shadow, or shade, over; to darken; to obscure.
  • transitive v. To cover with a superior influence; to be viewed as more important than.
  • transitive v. To cause to be sad or disappointing; to cast a sad shadow on.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To throw a shadow over; overshade; shade.
  • To shelter; protect; cover with protecting influence.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. be greater in significance than
  • v. cast a shadow upon
  • v. make appear small by comparison

Etymologies

Old English ofersceadwian, from ofer- ("over-") + sceadwian ("cover with shade"), a calque of Latin obumbrō, from ob ("over") + umbrō ("shade"). Compare Dutch overschaduwen, German überschatten. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The word overshadow here means, rather, to be diffused or spread over them.

    Barnes New Testament Notes

  • However, the difficulty there is finding someone who can demand the kind of budget the film needs while not having his name overshadow the character.

    Film School Rejects

  • Even if the wines are well-made, will the name overshadow the success of the winermaker?

    Pompous Ass: Yes to the Latter?

  • The custody battle and divorce case, he said last week, could "overshadow" his free-agent maneuvering.

    Dwyane Wade's Estranged Wife Sues Gabrielle Union Citing Emotional Distress

  • Alliance have said that the proposals could "overshadow" any good work done by the group.

    Digging up the past

  • CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: And that's, you know, and that's the problem sometimes with some of these summits, with the G20 and G8 and -- is that other outside things tend to kind of overshadow what's going on.

    CNN Transcript Jul 8, 2009

  • COSTELLO: Well I have heard other actors in the movie kind of overshadow him with their performances.

    CNN Transcript Dec 26, 2008

  • He complained that his numerous offers to help the ailing insurer were rebuffed because of fears Mr. Greenberg would "overshadow" the current management.

    AIG in Focus

  • Some of the skeptics I've talked to say they thought that perhaps this, the news about this weekend gathering really, the real reason for it was to kind of overshadow other news that came out.

    CNN Transcript May 24, 2008

  • Michael Aberman of Credit Suisse expressed a similar sentiment and said the pending launch of Roche's competing drug CERA will "overshadow" earnings growth in the near term.

    Amgen Investors Underestimating Competition

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