\ 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun More public parks offering shade and green space would help those neighborhoods and others cope with heat. Los Angeles Times, 18 Nov. 2021 In both shade and texture, her shiny, rich red pout offered a gorgeous, face-brightening jolt of color and shine that feels especially covet-worthy amid the holiday season. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, 16 Nov. 2021 The key is to keep the color palette mostly monochromatic with only slight variations in shade and tone. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 5 Nov. 2021 Some sections of the trail pass through scenic oak hammocks, providing shade and a welcome break from sandy or grassy footpaths. Patrick Connolly,, 5 Nov. 2021 On the forthcoming property, hundreds of old-growth and native canopy trees are being preserved while approximately 1,000 additional mature trees will be planted and integrated into the terrain to provide shade and habitat for wildlife. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, 18 Oct. 2021 When off-camera, the lions also will have new areas to seek privacy, shade and shelter. Doug George,, 14 Oct. 2021 Wait to plant primula and cyclamen for blooms in the shade and pansies and violas for more flowers in the sun. Calvin Finch, San Antonio Express-News, 8 Oct. 2021 In response to the heat wave this summer, Oregon announced emergency rules mandating that employers provide cool water, adequate shade and rest breaks every two hours when the temperature in work areas, indoors or outdoors, exceeds 90 degrees. Washington Post, 20 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The city in 2010 set a goal to grow the tree canopy to shade 25% of its land by 2030. Brandon Loomis, The Arizona Republic, 7 Oct. 2021 This reestablished overstory will shade and cool the creek, provide leaf litter, and improve the habitat for macroinvertebrates, fish, small mammals, birds, and the Rio Grande cutthroat trout. Wendy Altschuler, Forbes, 26 Oct. 2021 The University of Florida researchers have been experimenting with arabica coffee trees, grown interspersed with citrus trees, which can shade and protect the smaller coffee trees. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, 29 Sep. 2021 Vineyards are typically oriented on a southwest axis to shade vines from the afternoon sun. Joseph V Micallef, Forbes, 2 Sep. 2021 Despite the prominence of HIV in Pray Tell’s life, the show waited until this season to shade in crucial parts of the character’s backstory, deepening his bonds with the rest of the ensemble even after his climactic death. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, 7 June 2021 The blades of grass are necessary to shade and protect the crowns. Chris Mckeown, The Enquirer, 9 Sep. 2021 Thick smoke on Monday helped shade the area, where more than 5,000 firefighters are fighting the flames. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, 27 July 2021 Most electric companies also suggest planting trees to shade your air conditioning condenser to increase the unit's efficiency and cut your cooling costs by another 10%. Rachael Baihn, Better Homes & Gardens, 26 July 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near shade



shaded-pole motor

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Statistics for shade

Last Updated

3 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shade.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2021.

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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



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
: 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.

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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