\ ˈshād How to pronounce shade (audio) \

Definition of shade

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : comparative darkness or obscurity owing to interception of the rays of light
b : relative obscurity or retirement
2a : shelter (as by foliage) from the heat and glare of sunlight
b : a place sheltered from the sun
3 : an evanescent or unreal appearance
4 shades plural
a : the shadows that gather as darkness comes on
5a : a disembodied spirit : ghost
b used to signal the similarity between a previously encountered person or situation and one at hand usually used in plural shades of my childhood
6 : something that intercepts or shelters from light, sun, or heat: such as
a : a device partially covering a lamp so as to reduce glare
b : a flexible screen usually mounted on a roller for regulating the light or the view through a window
c shades plural : sunglasses
7a : the reproduction of the effect of shade in painting or drawing
b : a subdued or somber feature
8a : a color produced by a pigment or dye mixture having some black in it
b : a color slightly different from the one under consideration
9a : a minute difference or variation : nuance
b : a minute degree or quantity
10 : a facial expression of sadness or displeasure
throw shade
US slang
: to express contempt or disrespect for someone publicly especially by subtle or indirect insults or criticisms Christopher Oram's elegant set is a pillared palazzo; at cafe tables wasp-waisted women sip tiny cups of espresso and throw shade at their rivals from behind dark glasses …— Sam Marlowe


shaded; shading

Definition of shade (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to shelter or screen by intercepting radiated light or heat
b : to cover with a shade
2 : to hide partly by or as if by a shadow
3 : to darken with or as if with a shadow
4 : to better or exceed by a shade
5a : to represent the effect of shade or shadow on
b : to add shading to
c : to color so that the shades pass gradually from one to another
6 : to change by gradual transition or qualification
7 : to reduce slightly shade a price
8 : slant, bias

intransitive verb

1 : to pass by slight changes or imperceptible degrees
2 : to undergo or exhibit minute difference or variation

Other Words from shade


shadeless \ ˈshād-​ləs How to pronounce shade (audio) \ adjective


shader noun

Synonyms for shade

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of shade in a Sentence

Noun The buildings cast shade on the plaza. The tree provided plenty of shade. These plants grow well in shade. It was a hot sunny day, but luckily their seats for the game were in the shade. We sat in the shade of a willow tree. He used his hand as a shade as he looked out into the bright sunlight. a lamp with a broken shade She pulled down the shades. She was wearing a cool pair of shades. Verb Several large trees shade the house. She shaded the drawing to give it depth. The shaded part of the graph represents the amount of sales. The article shaded the truth by revealing only one side of the story. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun City officials across the region reminded residents to protect themselves and others from the heat by staying indoors or in the shade when possible, checking on elderly neighbors, drinking plenty of liquids and wearing hats and sunscreen. Jenna Portnoy, Washington Post, 21 May 2022 In gardens, old lilac shrubs that were planted in full sun may now be in shade because trees have grown overhead or newer buildings now block the sun’s rays. Beth Botts, Chicago Tribune, 21 May 2022 Those exceptions are meant to protect the region’s trees, which provide valuable shade and help stave off dangerous heat health effects. Los Angeles Times, 3 May 2022 Over time the plantings will help stabilize streambanks, prevent pollution from entering the streams and provide cooling shade for aquatic species. cleveland, 14 Apr. 2022 And Chinese elm and other saplings, which will ultimately provide shade and absorb noise, have begun to take root in the hell strips between the street’s lanes. Alison Van Houten, Outside Online, 5 Apr. 2022 Along with the green space and stage the space features towering blue sculptures that muffle breezes and provide shade — metal structures that look like alien trees shot full of holes. Chase Difeliciantonio, San Francisco Chronicle, 1 Mar. 2022 Among their other benefits, trees absorb storm water and carbon dioxide and provide shade in summer and their density has a measurable effect on the surrounding air temperatures. New York Times, 12 Feb. 2022 Michael Rogers, who helped design SoFi Stadium, said its roof will provide shade for fans at Sunday's game, and its 16 massive operable panels should help to alleviate heat, according to CBS Los Angeles. Tori B. Powell, CBS News, 12 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Mildewed curtains shade the toilet, a nasty mess of orangey brown. Longreads, 20 Apr. 2022 Expansive glass panels fill in the openings where there were freight doors, and steel awnings shade the windows. oregonlive, 6 Apr. 2022 Trees also shade the Earth, and their leaves transpire, cooling whole regions of the planet in much the same way that sweating prevents our bodies from overheating. Washington Post, 1 Apr. 2022 Squash plants have large leaves that shade the ground, which helps prevent weeds and promotes moisture retention in the soil. Priscilla Totiyapungprasert, The Arizona Republic, 25 Mar. 2022 In addition to a healthy layer of sunscreen and sunglasses, one fashion-forward way to shade your precious face is with a stylish sun hat. Kathleen Walsh, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 Mar. 2022 The villa itself is adorned in lush foliage, like the climbing vines and mature trees that shade the entrance. Emma Reynolds, Robb Report, 14 Mar. 2022 The descending chords that shade the finale, the final reaches of the theme in the strings and their slow taper to silence counted as some of my favorite moments in front of this orchestra. Washington Post, 3 Mar. 2022 For a more vibrant finish, shade the primer close to, but not darker than, the top coat’s color, explained Mr. Slavik. Allison Duncan, WSJ, 22 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shade.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of shade


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for shade


Middle English, from Old English sceadu; akin to Old High German scato shadow, Greek skotos darkness

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Time Traveler for shade

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near shade



shaded-pole motor

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Last Updated

25 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Shade.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for shade


\ ˈshād How to pronounce shade (audio) \

Kids Definition of shade

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : space sheltered from light or heat and especially from the sun I needed to sit in the shade of a tree.
2 : partial darkness The trees cast shade.
3 : something that blocks off or cuts down light a lamp shade a window shade
4 : the darkness or lightness of a color four shades of brown
5 : a very small difference or amount He's just a shade taller than me.
6 : ghost, spirit
7 : the darkening of some objects in a painting or drawing to suggest that they are in shade


shaded; shading

Kids Definition of shade (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to shelter from light or heat I shaded my eyes with a hand.
2 : to mark with or turn a darker color The shaded parts of the graph show growth. Her face shaded purple with embarrassment.

More from Merriam-Webster on shade

Nglish: Translation of shade for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shade for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about shade


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