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 His news will overshadow just about anything else, barring some major development. Jj Kinahan, Forbes, 22 June 2021 Even so, economic challenges overshadow much of their family’s life. Whitney Eulich, The Christian Science Monitor, 22 June 2021 With the July 1 celebrations for the Communist Party's 100th anniversary just weeks away, Beijing doesn't want any more industrial accidents to overshadow its big day. Nectar Gan, Jill Disis And Ben Westcott, CNN, 14 June 2021 But some maneuvers can easily overshadow the others. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 11 June 2021 Although Palantir’s government business continues to overshadow the commercial operations, with the business growing by 76% year-over-year to $208 million in Q1 2021, the company has made some progress in the commercial space as well. Trefis Team, Forbes, 8 June 2021 Following the Mueller report's release, Trump again denied the episodes with McGahn, leaving his public statements to overshadow the Mueller report's extensive documentation. Katelyn Polantz, CNN, 4 June 2021 Fashion, for her, becomes a weapon — one used to overshadow the Baroness and challenge the establishment. Radhika Seth, Vogue, 19 May 2021 These types of shootings tend to overshadow the instances of everyday violence that account for most gun deaths, which experts say could obscure some people’s understanding of the problem and complicate the response. Washington Post, 11 May 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

19 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Overshadow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overshadow. Accessed 23 Jul. 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on overshadow

Nglish: Translation of overshadow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of overshadow for Arabic Speakers


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