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

But research by the Bank for International Settlements, among many others, suggests that while quantitative easing has helped lower bond yields, its direct effects are overshadowed by its role as a signaling tool. Jon Sindreu And Riva Gold, WSJ, "Rates Back In Driving Seat For Markets, As ECB Ends Bond Buying," 14 June 2018 The announcement late Friday marked an ignoble end for the embattled university executive, whose tenure had been overshadowed by recent scandals tarnishing the reputation of one of Southern California's premier educational institutions. Thomas Curwen, latimes.com, "Nikias' tenure as USC president was marked by growth and scandal," 26 May 2018 As the son of one governor and the brother of another, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Chris Cuomo is used to being somewhat overshadowed by the other members of his famous family. Jeremy Barr, The Hollywood Reporter, "With New Primetime Show, CNN Bets On Chris Cuomo," 23 May 2018 Although teammate Mikal Bridges is the surefire first-round pick on the roster, perhaps overshadowed still isn’t the exact right word. Jeremy Woo, SI.com, "NBA Draft Spotlight: Five Prospects Who Deserve More Shine," 14 Feb. 2018 The current Polish government is trying to defuse a row with Brussels over its judicial reforms that threatens to overshadow its wider European interests, not least over the future EU budget. Simon Nixon, WSJ, "Portuguese Lessons for Spain and Italy," 4 June 2018 But the cumulative weight of scandals in Trump’s private and public life is threatening to overshadow what the religious right sees as its most successful string of policy victories in a generation. BostonGlobe.com, "Evangelicals dismiss Trump scandals, look to help GOP," 25 Apr. 2018 But Pruitt's personal controversies threaten to overshadow his professional pursuits. Author: Juliet Eilperin, Brady Dennis, Josh Dawsey, Anchorage Daily News, "‘A factory of bad ideas’: How Scott Pruitt undermined his mission at EPA," 22 Apr. 2018 The furor also threatened to overshadow Modi's visit this week to Britain. Sugam Pokharel And Laura Smith-spark, CNN, "India seeks death penalty for child rapists," 21 Apr. 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

17 Sep 2018

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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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