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 Soon, many people believed that the economic wreckage and emotional damage from the lockdowns would eventually overshadow the toll of the virus itself. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "What Will Historians Make of Our Annus Horribilis?," 31 Dec. 2020 But the joyous ceremony could never overshadow the despair evident in the recovering community. NBC News, "In quest to find birth family, woman makes 'life-altering' discovery: She's a princess," 17 Dec. 2020 Certainly, nothing could overshadow the loss of a family member. Chris Dabe, NOLA.com, "Dabe: Ehret’s Kaine Williams carries memory of late sister as he signs with Alabama," 16 Dec. 2020 On Wednesday, 19 prominent Georgia Republicans, including a former governor and two former senators, warned that single-minded focus on fraud allegations could overshadow the runoffs. Rob Crilly, Washington Examiner, "Republicans brace for Trump rally in Georgia that could make or break Senate runoffs," 5 Dec. 2020 As a talking point, Michael Penix’s injury will overshadow what was perhaps Indiana’s poorest day of the season offensively. Zach Osterman, The Indianapolis Star, "IU football report card: Hoosiers' defense isn't opportunistic. It's good. Get used to it.," 30 Nov. 2020 The current Mayor Parrish bemoaned the fact that the contest between President Trump and former vice president Joe Biden will overshadow local elections in the region. Antonio Olivo, Washington Post, "In blue Northern Va., Democrats eye a mayoral seat long held by the GOP," 28 Oct. 2020 Lenoir, who has 24 tackles and an interception this season for the Ducks (4-2), is again referring to the play that in many ways defined Oregon’s 2019 season but also shouldn’t overshadow his otherwise strong career. oregonlive, "Deommodore Lenoir accomplished what he set out to do at Oregon in 2020; will Fiesta Bowl be his last game with the Ducks?," 29 Dec. 2020 But the late-game difficulties won't overshadow the performance put on by Hill in his third straight victory as the Saints' starting quarterback. Jeff Nowak, NOLA.com, "Saints end Falcons' NFC South hopes and get a gift (sort-of); see where things stand after Week 13," 7 Dec. 2020

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

20 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Overshadow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overshadow. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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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.

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