- An area that is not or is only partially irradiated or illuminated because of the interception of radiation by an opaque object between the area and the source of radiation.
- The rough image cast by an object blocking rays of illumination. See Synonyms at shade.
- An imperfect imitation or copy.
- shadows The darkness following sunset.
- A feeling or cause of gloom or unhappiness: The argument cast a shadow on their friendship.
a. A nearby or adjoining region; vicinity: grew up in the shadow of the ballpark.
b. A dominating presence or influence: spent years working in the shadow of the lab director.
a. A darkened area of skin under the eye. Often used in the plural.
b. An incipient growth of beard that makes the skin look darker.
- A shaded area in a picture or photograph.
- A mirrored image or reflection.
- A phantom; a ghost.
a. One, such as a detective or spy, that follows or trails another.
b. A constant companion.
c. Sports A player who guards an opponent closely.
- A faint indication; a foreshadowing.
- A vestige or inferior form: shadows of their past achievements.
- An insignificant portion or amount; a trace: beyond a shadow of a doubt.
- Shelter; protection: under the shadow of their corporate sponsor.
, shad·ows verb, transitive
- To cast a shadow on; shade.
- To make gloomy or dark; cloud.
- To represent vaguely, mysteriously, or prophetically.
- To darken in a painting or drawing; shade in.
- To follow, especially in secret; trail.
- Sports To guard (an opponent) closely throughout the playing area, especially in ice hockey.
- To change by gradual degrees.
- To become clouded over as if with shadows: Her face shadowed with sorrow.
Not having official status: a shadow government of exiled leaders; a shadow cabinet.
Origin: Middle English
Origin: , from Old English sceaduwe
Origin: , oblique case of sceadu, shade, shadow
Related Forms:Word History: Shade
are not only related in meaning; historically they are the same word. In Old English, the ancestor of Modern English spoken a thousand years ago, nouns were inflected; that is, they had different forms depending on how they were used in a sentence. One of the inflected forms of the Old English noun sceadu,
translatable as either “shade” or “shadow,” was sceaduwe
; this form was used when the word was preceded by a preposition (as in in sceaduwe,
“in the shade, in shadow”). As time went on these two forms of the same word were interpreted as two separate words. The same thing happened to other Old English words, too: our mead
come from two different case-forms of the same Old English word for “meadow.”