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 Well, the Seahawks’ MVP-mode QB is a factor in this equation, too, as his brilliance overshadows the consistent punch that running back Chris Carson brings. Usa Today Sports, USA TODAY, "Who is NFL's most overlooked top-performing player in 2019 season?," 9 Nov. 2019 But these absences do not detract from Beradt’s vivid, indelible details, which deepen our understanding of life during Nazism’s early years—a period still overshadowed in the literature by accounts of mass murder and war. Mireille Juchau, The New Yorker, "How Dreams Change Under Authoritarianism," 7 Nov. 2019 Even as the years go by and the distance between ourselves and our roots stretches ever wider, even as the pressure to fit in intensifies or one of our identities overshadows the others, something stubborn clings on in our taste buds. Claire Calderón, SFChronicle.com, "Why food is the last holdout in assimilation," 31 Oct. 2019 How fitting that an impassioned debate over an arcane rules interpretation on a call ultimately rendered moot would overshadow all other talk of the 2019 World Series heading into a decisive seventh game. Phil Rosenthal, chicagotribune.com, "Outrage over interference call dominates World Series talk ahead of Game 7. A-Rod calls it ‘a terrible call.' Steve Stone tweets it’s a ‘bad rule’ but the right decision.," 30 Oct. 2019 The impeachment connection, and Sullivan's current position as Pompeo's top deputy, resulted in a contentious hearing where Sullivan's qualifications for the job were overshadowed. oregonlive, "Trump’s Russia nominee affirms former Ukraine ambassador’s claim," 30 Oct. 2019 Stern initiated the on-camera kiss as a way overshadow the then-headlines about the day time talk show host hanging out at a Dallas Cowboys football game with former president George W. Bush. Benjamin Vanhoose, PEOPLE.com, "Jennifer Aniston and Ellen DeGeneres Share a Pleasant TV Kiss: 'You Have Such Soft Lips'," 28 Oct. 2019 That set the stage for Craig’s heroics, who overshadowed Nikola Jokic’s first triple-double of the season. Mike Singer, The Denver Post, "Torrey Craig’s overtime block saves Nuggets in home opener vs. Suns," 25 Oct. 2019 Then came the tragic events of Sept. 11, which overshadowed everything else for months, including Halloween. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "'We are definitely open.' After 99 years, Caufield's still serving up Halloween scares," 22 Oct. 2019

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

12 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for overshadow

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

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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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Comments on overshadow

What made you want to look up overshadow? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


meddlesome, informal, or unofficial

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