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noun \ˈshād\

Simple Definition of shade

  • : an area of slight darkness that is produced when something blocks the light of the sun

  • : something that is used to block strong light

  • : a darkened area in a drawing, painting, etc.

Full Definition of shade

  1. 1a :  comparative darkness or obscurity owing to interception of the rays of lightb :  relative obscurity or retirement

  2. 2a :  shelter (as by foliage) from the heat and glare of sunlightb :  a place sheltered from the sun

  3. 3 :  an evanescent or unreal appearance

  4. 4 plural a :  the shadows that gather as darkness comes onb :  netherworld, hades

  5. 5a :  a disembodied spirit :  ghostb —used to signal the similarity between a previously encountered person or situation and one at hand ; usually used in plural <shades of my childhood>

  6. 6 :  something that intercepts or shelters from light, sun, or heat: asa :  a device partially covering a lamp so as to reduce glareb :  a flexible screen usually mounted on a roller for regulating the light or the view through a windowc plural :  sunglasses

  7. 7a :  the reproduction of the effect of shade in painting or drawingb :  a subdued or somber feature

  8. 8a :  a color produced by a pigment or dye mixture having some black in itb :  a color slightly different from the one under consideration

  9. 9a :  a minute difference or variation :  nuanceb :  a minute degree or quantity

  10. 10 :  a facial expression of sadness or displeasure

shade·less play \-ləs\ adjective

Examples of shade

  1. The buildings cast shade on the plaza.

  2. The tree provided plenty of shade.

  3. These plants grow well in shade.

  4. It was a hot sunny day, but luckily their seats for the game were in the shade.

  5. We sat in the shade of a willow tree.

  6. He used his hand as a shade as he looked out into the bright sunlight.

  7. a lamp with a broken shade

  8. She pulled down the shades.

  9. She was wearing a cool pair of shades.

Origin of shade

Middle English, from Old English sceadu; akin to Old High German scato shadow, Greek skotos darkness

First Known Use: before 12th century




Simple Definition of shade

  • : to shelter (something) from strong light and especially from sunlight

  • : to make an area in a drawing, on a graph, etc., darker than other areas

  • : to change (something, such as the truth) slightly in order to deceive people

Full Definition of shade


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1a :  to shelter or screen by intercepting radiated light or heatb :  to cover with a shade

  3. 2 :  to hide partly by or as if by a shadow

  4. 3 :  to darken with or as if with a shadow

  5. 4 :  to better or exceed by a shade

  6. 5a :  to represent the effect of shade or shadow onb :  to add shading toc :  to color so that the shades pass gradually from one to another

  7. 6 :  to change by gradual transition or qualification

  8. 7 :  to reduce slightly (as a price)

  9. 8 :  slant, bias

  10. intransitive verb
  11. 1 :  to pass by slight changes or imperceptible degrees

  12. 2 :  to undergo or exhibit minute difference or variation

shad·er noun

Examples of shade

  1. Several large trees shade the house.

  2. She shaded the drawing to give it depth.

  3. The shaded part of the graph represents the amount of sales.

  4. The article shaded the truth by revealing only one side of the story.

14th Century

First Known Use of shade

14th century

Seen and Heard

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February 6, 2016

an official order, decree, or edict

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