over·​shad·​ow | \ ˌō-vər-ˈsha-(ˌ)dō \
overshadowed; overshadowing; overshadows

Definition of overshadow

transitive verb

1 : to cast a shadow over
2 : to exceed in importance : outweigh

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Examples of overshadow in a Sentence

The pitcher's outstanding performance should not overshadow the achievements of the rest of the team. large trees overshadow the yard and darken the house for much of the day

Recent Examples on the Web

The 19-point performance nearly overshadowed what might have been Nowell’s best defensive outing. Percy Allen, The Seattle Times, "Three impressions from Washington’s 77-70 win at Colorado," 13 Jan. 2019 President Trump’s constant stoking of panic about immigrants coming into the US to commit crimes has overshadowed a real crisis at the border over the past several months — a crisis of resources. Dara Lind, Vox, "Trump administration to release hundreds of immigrant families from detention," 27 Dec. 2018 Second-year players should overshadow, or at least look much more self-assured, than their first-year opponents. Josh Robbins, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Five takeaways from the Magic’s summer-league win over the Grizzlies," 9 July 2018 But the incident may just overshadow performances from both teams. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Basketball Game Devolves Into a Massive On-Court Brawl," 2 July 2018 The Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo GOAT debate has overshadowed many a game, team and competition. Brian Straus, SI.com, "The World Cup Will Be Just Fine Without the Exhausting Messi vs. Ronaldo Debate," 30 June 2018 That Grammys gown, whose kitsch factor overshadowed its irregular seams, translucent material, and ill fit, temporarily seized the attention of both left and right wing media outlets. Elizabeth Raiss, refinery29.com, "Who Is Andre Soriano, The Gay, Immigrant Designer Obsessed With Donald Trump?," 27 June 2018 The abrupt departure of Krzanich, who has been the Intel's top executive since 2013, overshadowed otherwise positive news for the $246 billion tech company. NBC News, "Intel CEO out after consensual relationship with employee," 21 June 2018 Those struggles likely overshadowed an overall excellent year for Eidem, a senior infielder. Grant Gordon, latimes.com, "No brainer as Beer voted league pitcher of year," 19 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'overshadow.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of overshadow

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for overshadow

Last Updated

19 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for overshadow

The first known use of overshadow was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for overshadow



English Language Learners Definition of overshadow

: to cause (something or someone) to seem less important or impressive when compared to something or someone else
: to make (something) less enjoyable because of sadness, fear, or worry
: to cast a shadow over (something)


over·​shad·​ow | \ ˌō-vər-ˈsha-dō \
overshadowed; overshadowing

Kids Definition of overshadow

1 : to cast a shadow over : darken
2 : to be or become more important than Her achievements overshadowed those of her classmates.

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Comments on overshadow

What made you want to look up overshadow? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


excited commotion or publicity

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