over·​shad·​ow | \ˌō-vər-ˈsha-(ˌ)dō \
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

It’s been overshadowed by the prevailing theory that Alzheimer’s stems from sticky plaques that clog the brain. Washington Post, "New evidence that viruses may play a role in Alzheimer’s," 21 June 2018 Though it was overshadowed by the several controversies associated with the 60th Annual Grammy Awards — Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic beating out Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. Jason Lipshutz, Billboard, "Why Beyonce & JAY-Z's 'Everything Is Love' Album Is Already a No-Brainer Grammys Contender," 20 June 2018 When the team has event appearances with players, often times they are overshadowed by the three or four cheerleaders who accompany them. Mac Engel, star-telegram, "Jerry, you're going to have to pay for the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders," 19 June 2018 Still, even when his national security team has been pursuing traditionally hawkish policies towards Moscow at a time of plunging relations, they've been overshadowed by President Trump's baffling praise for Putin. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Trump's toughness on Russia judged against his predecessors," 9 June 2018 Except it was overshadowed immediately by the other insanity that ensued. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "The Warriors Beat the Cavaliers, and Everything but the Score Was Bonkers," 1 June 2018 Warwick, the niece of Houston’s mother, was a respected gospel singer in the 1960s and 1970s, though she was overshadowed by her sister, Dionne Warwick. Amanda Arnold, The Cut, "New Documentary About Whitney Houston Claims the Pop Icon Was Sexually Abused," 16 May 2018 Now even they are overshadowed by small crossovers. Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY, "Ford ends iconic Taurus, as cars lose out to popular SUVs," 27 Apr. 2018 But it has largely been forgotten and recently it has been overshadowed in Myanmar by violence against Rohingya Muslims in the west, nearly 700,000 of whom have been driven into exile since August. Fox News, "In northern Myanmar, a forgotten conflict intensifies," 26 Apr. 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

12 Nov 2018

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 \
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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