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 That shouldn't overshadow his overwhelming achievements that were based on disciplined offense and physical defense that started during his time at Army. Erick Smith, USA TODAY, 4 June 2021 But that shouldn’t overshadow the blissful synth-pop of the song and one of the best choruses of the decade. Troy L. Smith, cleveland, 13 May 2021 None of this, though, should overshadow what Rocket Watts did Sunday. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, 8 Mar. 2021 Wild, the finish didn't overshadow Kaprizov's impressive effort. Sarah Mclellan, Star Tribune, 5 May 2021 Gargano, however, said that the first March Madness appearance for men’s basketball should not overshadow the long term realities. Dom Amore, courant.com, 9 Apr. 2021 But that discussion shouldn't overshadow the stark contrast in the political response to the two attacks or in the news media coverage. NBC News, 1 Apr. 2021 Former Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who played for the franchise in 1992, said that should not overshadow his influence on the NBA, or Los Angeles, where a statue of Baylor sits outside Staples Center. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, 23 Mar. 2021 For Zanine, Flora’s European construction does not overshadow its genesis in Brazil. Helena Madden, Robb Report, 13 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for overshadow

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for overshadow

Last Updated

13 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Overshadow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overshadow. Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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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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