Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To give a sketchy outline of.
  • transitive verb To prefigure indistinctly; foreshadow.
  • transitive verb To disclose partially or guardedly.
  • transitive verb To overshadow; shadow or obscure.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To overshadow; partially darken or conceal.
  • Figuratively, to give a faint shadow or resemblance of; outline or shadow forth; foreshadow; prefigure.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To give a faint shadow or slight representation of; to outline; to shadow forth.
  • transitive verb To overshadow; to shade.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To foreshadow vaguely.
  • verb To give a vague outline.
  • verb To obscure or overshadow.

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

  • verb describe roughly or briefly or give the main points or summary of
  • verb give to understand

Etymologies

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

[Latin adumbrāre, adumbrāt-, to represent in outline : ad-, ad- + umbra, shadow.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin adumbrātus "represented in outline", from adumbrāre "cast a shadow on", from umbra "shadow".

Examples

  • Adumbrated – from adumbrate (always used in conjunction with an object)

    Extending Your Vocabulary « Write Anything

  • And, since Ezra Levant was mentioned, let me note that his own attitudes in this respect, and those of his wretched hangers-on, adumbrate the fate of the disabled under Flanagan's cure-all free enterprise regime.

    Archive 2009-05-01

  • All that I can think of as a remedy is benign neglect, which is an easier policy to adumbrate than to carry out.

    Russia

  • All that I can think of as a remedy is benign neglect, which is an easier policy to adumbrate than to carry out.

    Eastern Europe

  • And just as the fish and the reptile glimmeringly adumbrate man, so do these yearnings and desires adumbrate what man in himself calls "love," spelled all out in capitals.

    The Kempton-Wace Letters

  • Historically, they adumbrate a business consolidation phase coming as well as a stall in stock market momentum.

    Playing The Market Like Pebble Beach

  • Hence, there was not really any late modem triumph of science over magic, so much as there was a natural dissolution of the latter into the former, as the power of science to accomplish what magic could only adumbrate became progressively more obvious.

    2009 July « Anglican Samizdat

  • Hence, there was not really any late modem triumph of science over magic, so much as there was a natural dissolution of the latter into the former, as the power of science to accomplish what magic could only adumbrate became progressively more obvious.

    Science and Magic « Anglican Samizdat

  • Right or wrong, though, it is the nature of the appeal that the ads adumbrate that leaves me as distressed now as it did several hours ago.

    You report: Promotional Posters for the Traditional Latin Mass

  • Allow me to adumbrate the hair-splitter in denials (hid) contribution to this thread.

    On Thursday, the Legg report will be published along with...

Comments

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  • "What adumbrates the neural coagulate, still sending its runners off, fetchingly, here and there."

    John Latta, Isola di Rifiuti

    January 26, 2007

  • A fancy way of saying 'sketch out' or something of the sort

    December 20, 2009

  • Some there are who boldly state

    And scholars plainly explicate,

    But others prefer

    To hint and refer

    And by indirection adumbrate.

    September 27, 2014

  • To prefigure indistinctly; foreshadow.

    June 24, 2015