\ 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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Her naturally curly hair is blown out and shaped into smooth, loose waves that reveal the nuances of the bold shade. Marci Robin, Allure, "Sarah Hyland Dyed Her Hair Red for Spring," 25 Feb. 2021 Both of these plants can also tolerate a good bit of shade. Neil Sperry, San Antonio Express-News, "How to make a peace lily with browned leaves healthy again," 19 Feb. 2021 Stack wood in a single row, out of the shade, with enough space between the pieces to allow air to pass through. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "How to Stack Firewood," 26 Jan. 2021 McConnell couldn't resist throwing a little bit of Senate-superiority shade at Pelosi. Emily Brooks, Washington Examiner, "In a final gesture as Senate majority leader, McConnell gifts Harris flag," 20 Jan. 2021 Former First Lady Michelle Obama and former Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton also wore outfits — by Sergio Hudson and Ralph Lauren, respectively — in variations of the shade to the inauguration on Wednesday. Irina Grechko,, "Kamala Harris Wore Purple & Pearls Today — Here’s Why That Matters," 20 Jan. 2021 Then slide in the metal rod to weigh down the bottom of the shade. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Yes, You Can Make Your Own Roman Shades—Here's How," 15 Jan. 2021 Some kind of screen shade would be an excellent addition to fight glare and make the image more visible. Stan Horaczek, Popular Science, "Hasselblad’s new $6,400 camera is weird and wonderful," 2 Jan. 2021 Some of the shade has come from other prominent coaches, including Clemson’s Dabo Swinney and Florida’s Dan Mullen. Tim Bielik, cleveland, "No. 4 Ohio State vs. No. 14 Northwestern in Big Ten Championship: Free live stream, TV, live updates, odds (12/19/20)," 19 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Outside, there’s a pool and spa, and a patio with a cantilevered roof that opens and shuts to provide more sunlight or shade over the living space. Mary Grace Granados, Dallas News, "Take a look at this stately Dallas home with 7 bedrooms and plenty of entertaining space," 28 Jan. 2021 The disappointing finishes shade the overall success. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Giannis Antetokounmpo's extension is a win — for more than just the Bucks," 16 Dec. 2020 The beans fix nitrogen mostly for corn, while the leaves on the pumpkin and watermelon plants, which also benefit from this nutritional booster, help shade the soil and keep it humid. Agostino Petroni, Environment, "This sacred bean saved an indigenous clan from climate calamity," 25 Nov. 2020 Johnson tried to shade the manuscript with his top hat. New York Times, "Who Was the First New President to …?," 18 Jan. 2021 There’s still a weird belief that Woody Harrelson is better at comedy than drama, even using the former to shade roles like that in Three Billboard Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Brian Tallerico, Vulture, "The 100 Best Movies on Amazon Prime Right Now," 16 Jan. 2021 Variable rate shading takes advantage of that to shade primary objects at full resolution, but secondary objects at a lower rate, which can improve performance. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "How DirectX 12 Ultimate supercharges graphics on Windows PCs and Xbox," 20 Nov. 2020 The bungalow has signature Craftsman features, including narrow double-drop siding as well as wide eave overhangs to shade the interior. oregonlive, "Ashland Hostel, a ‘Wild’ welcome to Cheryl Strayed, hikers, theater goers and students, is for sale at $695,000," 18 Nov. 2020 Democrats have long been mocked for hoping to shade Republican strongholds, such as Texas, blue. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "How the Electoral College map has changed after the 2020 election," 18 Nov. 2020

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.

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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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Statistics for shade

Last Updated

2 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shade.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for shade



English Language Learners Definition of shade

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an area of slight darkness that is produced when something blocks the light of the sun
: something that is used to block strong light
: a darkened area in a drawing, painting, etc.



English Language Learners Definition of shade (Entry 2 of 2)

: to shelter (something) from strong light and especially from sunlight
: to make an area in a drawing, on a graph, etc., darker than other areas
US : to change (something, such as the truth) slightly in order to deceive people


\ 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.

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Comments on shade

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