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

Verb He was shadowboxing to stay in shape.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The kinetic charge extends to a two-channel video of a man shadowboxing. Siddhartha Mitter, New York Times, "This Artist Got His Start as an I.C.U. Nurse," 19 Mar. 2020 And that escalated to the fight.’’ Embiid shadowboxed to the crowd’s delight on his way back to the locker room., "PHILADELPHIA — Joel Embiid and Karl-Anthony Towns got into a brawl that overshadowed a rout on the court.," 31 Oct. 2019 Embiid shadowboxed to the crowd's delight on his way back to the locker room. Rob Maaddi, Houston Chronicle, "Joel Embiid, Karl-Anthony Towns ejected as Sixers rout Timberwolves," 30 Oct. 2019 Embiid shadowboxed to the crowd’s delight on his way back to the locker room. Rob Maaddi, Twin Cities, "Karl-Anthony Towns, Joel Embiid ejected in Timberwolves’ loss to 76ers," 30 Oct. 2019 The Trump administration and parts of the Iranian government have each appeared to be desperately seeking an off-ramp, aware that any move from shadowboxing to open conflict could be disastrous. David E. Sanger, New York Times, "Trump Says U.S. Downs Iranian Drone, Refueling Tensions as Both Nations Dig In," 18 July 2019 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun When you’re done, The Home Edit duo suggests displaying the most coveted physical keepsakes in a shadow box or frame to infuse more personality into your space. Kelly Allen, House Beautiful, "The Home Edit and Ancestry Share Tips for Storing Sacred Keepsakes," 15 Mar. 2021 This is great for all kinds of jerseys as well as to display your graduation tassels and cap or as a shadow box. Chris Hachey, BGR, "Best Memorabilia Display Case," 1 Mar. 2021 One of her treasured pieces is a shadow box her father made for her. Vincent T. Davis,, "Creative San Antonio craft designer and family transform home into Halloween fright fest," 26 Oct. 2020 DeWees also presented Abbott, 59, with a shadow box that contained old uniform patches and a key to commemorate the occasion. Pat Stoetzer,, "Doug Abbott, longtime Carroll County Sheriff’s Office employee, recognized for 37-year career," 30 Dec. 2020 The Antioch chamber’s Kringle’s Christmas Village indoor showroom of 50 holiday shadow box displays at 510 Orchard St. is open daily through New Year’s Day with free admission from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Karie Angell Luc,, "Unique gifts, warm weather add up to good weekend for Lake County’s local merchants," 29 Nov. 2020 Here are three things to consider when choosing a shadow box. Field & Stream, "Three Things to Consider When Choosing a Shadow Box," 20 Nov. 2020 Hockley appreciates the care that went into his choice of stain, mitering the corners and choosing the right doll for each nook in the shadow box. Vincent T. Davis,, "Creative San Antonio craft designer and family transform home into Halloween fright fest," 26 Oct. 2020 Although the gift of the shadow box brought a brief time to once again honor Cesar’s memory, their life continues with the memories of his service hanging on their wall. Savannah Mehrtens, Houston Chronicle, "Atascocita Gold Star Family receives medals once lost at Camp Lejune," 9 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for shadowbox

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The first known use of shadowbox was in 1891

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Cite this Entry

“Shadowbox.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of shadowbox

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

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