shad·​ow·​box | \ ˈsha-dō-ˌbäks How to pronounce shadowbox (audio) , -də-ˌbäks\
shadowboxed; shadowboxing; shadowboxes

Definition of shadowbox

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to box with an imaginary opponent especially as a form of training

shadow box


Definition of shadow box (Entry 2 of 2)

: a shallow enclosing case usually with a glass front in which something is set for protection and display

Examples of shadowbox in a Sentence


He was shadowboxing to stay in shape.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Not after Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis spent 15 minutes shadowboxing in one of the most bizarre (and boring) UFC fights in the 25-year history of the company. Steven Ruiz, For The Win, "Daniel Cormier and Brock Lesnar cut cringy promo for a fight we don't need," 8 July 2018 But Mayweather, a shadow of himself, plays defense when shadowboxing. Kevin Acee,, "Alvarez-Golovkin ready for real fight," 29 Aug. 2017 Michael Gonzalez, 46, owner of Verde Flowers on Lincoln Avenue was shadowboxing on a recent afternoon. Jaime Lowe, New York Times, "The South Bronx Boxing Gym at the Center of Gentrification," 17 Aug. 2017 In front of Somerset Station stood Joe Aster, shadowboxing in sandals, a softball shirt, and Buddy Holly glasses. Mike Newall,, "There's an answer to the heroin problem we need to try: Safe-injection sites," 14 July 2017 WASHINGTON — The simmering Senate debate over health care is about to to go from shadowboxing to the real thing. Jonathan Tamari,, "Even before GOP health care bill is introduced, battle lines clear in PA, NJ," 21 June 2017 Comey didn’t outright accuse Trump of obstruction, and neither Trump nor Kasowitz explicitly denied that Trump obstructed, but the two parties are shadowboxing around that question. Brian Beutler, New Republic, "Trump: I Am Not A Crook! Republicans: Trump Is a Liar, But Not a Crook!," 12 June 2017 Entering the stage in darkness and shadowboxing in silhouette was the easiest part, letting my punch combinations blend into the rhythm of the music. Mark Connor, Twin Cities, "St. Paul boxer finds his inner ballerina with St. Paul Ballet company," 12 Apr. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

At times, his eyes were closed as he shadow boxed, imagining a win similar to Ruiz at MSG. Deepti Hajela, The Denver Post, "Historic Andy Ruiz boxing win jolts elation among Mexican Americans," 5 June 2019 Brazeau, who grew up in Winsted, now has the shadow box in his home in Georgia., "WWII Veteran John Canty Of Winsted Buried at Arlington," 10 July 2018 The guides advised us to shadow box as a way to warm the chilly water that crept into our wetsuits. Rick Warner,, "Trying out all the adventures Australia and New Zealand have to offer," 12 June 2018 At the start of Tuesday’s meeting, a delegation of local veterans presented Cunningham with a folded American flag in a shadow box. Steve Dreyer, Pomerado News, "Cunnigham saluted by council members, vets," 6 June 2018 Go shadow box in the bathroom stall where no one can see you. NBC News, "How to read body language and use it to get ahead, according to a Secret Service agent," 23 May 2018 This shadow box — a framed dollhouse room with a woman, red curtains and a fortuneteller’s globe — is so eerie and mysterious. Mary Billard, New York Times, "Alexa Ray Joel, Downtown Girl, Is Surrounded by Memories," 6 Feb. 2018 If your mom is more of a jewelry lover, why not get her a shadow box to artfully display her unique collection? Lauren Le Vine, Redbook, "Don't Worry, We've Already Found the Best Gifts for Mother's Day," 6 May 2013 Details Ageless Blooms | 205.564.2151 | | The most popular package costs $285 and includes preservation plus a shadow box. Julia Sayers,, "Learn how to preserve your wedding flowers from the experts," 7 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shadowbox.' 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 shadowbox


1924, in the meaning defined above


1891, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of shadowbox was in 1891

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More Definitions for shadowbox



English Language Learners Definition of shadowbox

: to box with an imaginary opponent as a form of training

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shadowbox

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