Definitions

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

  • noun A dark area or shape made by an object blocking rays of light.
  • noun The darkness or diminished light caused by the blocking of a light source.
  • noun A darker area in a picture or photograph.
  • noun The darkness following sunset.
  • noun A darkened area of skin under the eye.
  • noun An incipient growth of beard that makes the skin look darker.
  • noun A feeling or cause of gloom or unhappiness.
  • noun A nearby or adjoining region; vicinity.
  • noun A dominating presence or influence.
  • noun An imitation or inferior version.
  • noun A phantom; a ghost.
  • noun An unsubstantial object of pursuit.
  • noun One, such as a detective or spy, that follows or trails another.
  • noun A constant companion.
  • noun Sports A player who guards an opponent closely.
  • noun A faint indication; a foreshadowing.
  • noun An insignificant portion or amount; a trace.
  • noun Shelter; protection.
  • intransitive verb To cast a shadow on; darken or shade.
  • intransitive verb To make gloomy or troubled, especially over time.
  • intransitive verb To represent vaguely, mysteriously, or prophetically; foreshadow.
  • intransitive verb To darken in a painting or drawing; shade in.
  • intransitive verb To follow, especially in secret; trail.
  • intransitive verb Sports To guard (an opponent) closely throughout the playing area.
  • intransitive verb To become downcast or gloomy.
  • adjective Not having official status.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In algebra, an umbral letter or symbol having no meaning apart from another sort of letter or symbol to which it assigns a property, and therefore not to be written alone.
  • noun Same as shadow corpuscle. See phantom corpuscle.
  • To cover or overspread with shade; throw into shade; cast a shadow over; shade.
  • To darken; cloud; obscure; bedim; tarnish.
  • To mark with or represent by shading; mark with slight gradations of color or light; shade; darken slightly.
  • To represent in a shadowy or figurative way; hence, to betoken; typify; foreshow: sometimes with forth or out.
  • To shelter; screen; hide; conceal; disguise.
  • To attend closely, like a shadow; follow about closely in a secret or unobserved manner: watch secretly and continuously: as, to shadow a criminal.
  • noun The fainter light and coolness caused by the interruption or interception of the rays of light and heat from the sun; shade.
  • noun plural Same as shade, 3.
  • noun Shade within defined limits; the dark figure or image projected by a body when it intercepts the light.
  • noun Anything which, follows or attends a person or thing like a shadow; an inseparable companion.
  • noun An uninvited guest introduced to a feast by one who is invited: a translation of the Latin umbra.
  • noun A reflected image, as in it mirror or in water; hence, any image or portrait.
  • noun The dark part of a picture; shade; representation of comparative deficiency or absence of light.
  • noun Type; mystical representation. Compare eidolon and paradigm.
  • noun An imperfect and faint representation; adumbration; a prefiguration; a foreshowing; a dim bodying forth.
  • noun The faintest trace; a slight or faint appearance: as, without a shadow of doubt.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old English sceaduwe, oblique case of sceadu, shade, shadow.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English schadowe, schadewe, schadwe (also schade > shade), from Old English sceaduwe, sceadwe, oblique form of sceadu ("shadow, shade; darkness; protection"), from Proto-Germanic *skaduz, *skadwaz (“shade, shadow”), from Proto-Indo-European *skot- (“darkness”). Cognate with Scots scaddow, schaddow ("shadow"), Saterland Frisian Skaad ("shade, shadow"), Dutch schaduw ("shadow"), German Schatten ("shadow, shade"), Norwegian skodde ("fog, mist"), Irish scáth ("shadow"), Ancient Greek σκότος (skótos, "darkness, gloom").

Examples

  • Washington having alluded, as he was fond of doing, to the rest he had at last secured for the remnant of his life, as he thought, under the shadow of his own vine and fig-tree, Rochambeau in his answer courteously and sincerely compliments him on the “philosophical” but not definitive quiet he now enjoys under the shadow— “of his laurel-tree.

    Rochambeau and the French in America. I. From Unpublished Documents. IX

  • As I passed across the edge of the shadow of the trees -- the ground ahead being brilliantly illuminated by the light of the comet -- I suddenly noticed, with an involuntary start, that I was being preceded by a _double shadow_, with a black center, which forked away from my feet.

    The Second Deluge

  • IV. ii.26 (213,5) Haply, you shall not see me more; or if,/A mangled shadow] _Or if_ you see me more, you will see me _a mangled shadow_, only the external form of what I was.

    Notes to Shakespeare, Volume III: The Tragedies

  • The woman here, her face lost in shadow, is someone I would like to learn about.

    Writer Unboxed » Blog Archive » The marrow of storytelling

  • The first time you were with Mr. Yorke; and the second time what you call your shadow was a shape with a white forehead and dark curls, and a sparkling necklace round its neck; but I only just got a glimpse of you and that fairy shadow: I did not wait to hear you converse. '

    Shirley, by Charlotte Bronte

  • "Now those vehicle usage payments - I've heard them described as a shadow toll, I've probably even used the term shadow toll myself in the past - they are not really a direct shadow toll because we don't get an amount of money for every vehicle that uses the road," he said.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • "Now those vehicle usage payments - I've heard them described as a shadow toll, I've probably even used the term shadow toll myself in the past - they are not really a direct shadow toll because we don't get an amount of money for every vehicle that uses the road," he said.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • "Now those vehicle usage payments - I've heard them described as a shadow toll, I've probably even used the term shadow toll myself in the past - they are not really a direct shadow toll because we don't get an amount of money for every vehicle that uses the road," he said.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • "Now those vehicle usage payments - I've heard them described as a shadow toll, I've probably even used the term shadow toll myself in the past - they are not really a direct shadow toll because we don't get an amount of money for every vehicle that uses the road," he said.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • "Now those vehicle usage payments - I've heard them described as a shadow toll, I've probably even used the term shadow toll myself in the past - they are not really a direct shadow toll because we don't get an amount of money for every vehicle that uses the road," he said.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

Comments

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  • Mused one man: “I believe you would be onto something if you could turn your own shadow into a missing-person.�?

    --Jan Cox

    August 29, 2007

  • See shadow self.

    December 31, 2008

  • Can someone use the last two verb forms of this word in a sentence?

    January 20, 2009

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    July 8, 2011