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

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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

Magallanes said that Trump’s messages and the ongoing surge of Central American migrants seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico may overshadow ICE’s increased activity in Dallas. Obed Manuel, Dallas News, "Dallas immigration activists mobilize FIRE to counter fear around Trump’s ICE sweeps," 4 July 2019 But Harris and Booker (two senators who have been overshadowed in recent months by the rise of Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg) will first have to maintain their credibility with respectable showings in Iowa and New Hampshire. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "Waist-Deep in the ‘Big Muddle’," 24 June 2019 But his interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos is a vivid reminder that Trump’s tweeting can be overshadowed. Hal Boedeker, orlandosentinel.com, "Trump TV interviews: Great for interviewers, not president," 16 June 2019 Some critics say Kyote should not have had to pay the lunch debt with his allowance, and that the feel-good act overshadows the need for real policy change. Char Adams, PEOPLE.com, "9-Year-Old Boy Pays Off School Lunch Debt for Classmates — and Sparks a National Discussion," 12 June 2019 The reversal came after much urging by his campaign staff—especially from black women on the campaign—and worries that the position would overshadow Biden’s forthcoming healthcare proposal. Emma Hinchliffe, Fortune, "How Anti-Feminism Influences Online Radicalization: The Broadsheet," 10 June 2019 However, some observers are concerned that the controversy over Moore's Mother's Day teaching will overshadow the matter of how Southern Baptists handle abuse and coverups in their churches. al.com, "Southern Baptists discuss whether one woman can preach," 9 June 2019 But among others, there was a greater sense that the investigation blitz could overshadow their policy promises. Steve Peoples, The Seattle Times, "Mueller findings flip Trump debate in 2020 campaign," 25 Mar. 2019 Some of them did, but others were so focused on pushing their own political agendas or confused by how Google works that the substantive matters were often overshadowed. Emily Stewart, Vox, "There are lots of reasons to worry about Google. Congress just picked the wrong one.," 12 Dec. 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

9 Jul 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 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.

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Comments on overshadow

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characterized by aphorism

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