shadow play


: a drama exhibited by throwing shadows of puppets or actors on a screen

called also shadow show

Examples of shadow play in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There’s a nod to almost every one of the auteur’s past works, from gangster dramas to gothic shadow plays. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 16 May 2024 What audiences see are silhouettes engaged in a shadow play of entwined hands and arched backs, sensual but not X-rated. Rebecca Ritzel, Washington Post, 13 Feb. 2024 One episode hopscotches between the 1968 New York City garbage strike, a shadow play of the Ugandan genocide, and a mournful fantasy about the early AIDS crisis—all as background for the story of one marriage’s dissolution. Phillip MacIak, The New Republic, 7 Sep. 2023 When there were not enough surviving details to complete a scene like this, the restoration team simply highlighted the characters’ contours and colored them with a lighter shade of red than the frieze’s background—a sort of shadow play, according to the team. Sarah Belmont For Artnews, Robb Report, 5 July 2023 Flores’ cinematic shadow play would make Orson Welles proud. oregonlive, 16 May 2023 From the street, the indoor intensity appears like a shadow play of figures striding up and down those theatrical stairs. Curbed, 25 Feb. 2022 Dear San Francisco is powered by exhilarating acrobatics, choreography, spoken word, video projections, shadow play, and original music. San Francisco Chronicle, 4 Aug. 2022 The podcast’s first episode, played in the next room, would be augmented by projections of stars evoking Griffith Observatory; a shadow play; and onscreen images that stopped short of making a movie out of a podcast. Sarah Larson, The New Yorker, 4 July 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'shadow play.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1890, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of shadow play was circa 1890

Dictionary Entries Near shadow play

Cite this Entry

“Shadow play.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jul. 2024.

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