over·​shad·​ow | \ ˌō-vər-ˈsha-(ˌ)dō How to pronounce overshadow (audio) \
overshadowed; overshadowing; overshadows

Definition of overshadow

transitive verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

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 Based on early reports of $7.6 million from the Biden-Obama soiree, Trump's team tried to overshadow the event by bragging that Trump raised $10 million during his flawed foray to Tulsa, Oklahoma, for a comeback rally. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Biden campaign taunts Brad Parscale after beating Trump and the RNC in June cash race," 2 July 2020 Such an announcement could overshadow the annual meeting itself. Chris Isidore, CNN, "What pandemic? Tesla really wants an in-person annual meeting," 23 June 2020 His rallies tend to attract overwhelmingly white audiences, and Conant said even if the president offers a message of unity, the optics of the event could overshadow that. Courtney Subramanian, USA TODAY, "Trump stirs anger with plans for Juneteenth rally in Tulsa, site of huge massacre of African Americans," 11 June 2020 The end result is an ensemble comedy helmed by Carell, who manages to overshadow even power players like Friends' Lisa Kudrow and Parks and Rec star Ben Schwartz. Martha Sorren, refinery29.com, "You Can See The Space Force Cast’s Star Power From Outer Space," 29 May 2020 The incident took place on March 13, but news of Taylor’s death has been largely overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic. Tanya A. Christian, Essence, "Police Shooting Of EMT Worker Leaves Family Looking For Answers," 12 May 2020 The working class was becoming more diverse than ever by the 1970s, as women and people of color filled new roles in the work force, and the service sector began to overshadow manufacturing. Jefferson Cowie, New York Times, "The ‘Hard Hat Riot’ Was a Preview of Today’s Political Divisions," 11 May 2020 Several cases of people trying to extort money from the family and send death threats in relation to Andrea's case have been overshadowed by the positive energy of private investigators, family and volunteers not giving up, Mike Knabel said. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Missing Louisville woman Andrea Knabel's case is featured on Investigation Discovery show," 21 Apr. 2020 Is basketball corruption going to overshadow everything at the SEC’s marquee football event? Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al.com, "Basketball corruption could upstage SEC Media Days," 14 July 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of overshadow

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about overshadow

Time Traveler for overshadow

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for overshadow

Last Updated

6 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Overshadow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overshadow. Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for overshadow


How to pronounce overshadow (audio)

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 How to pronounce overshadow (audio) \
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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!