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, 19 Mar. 2020 And that escalated to the fight.’’ Embiid shadowboxed to the crowd’s delight on his way back to the locker room., 31 Oct. 2019 Embiid shadowboxed to the crowd's delight on his way back to the locker room. Rob Maaddi, Houston Chronicle, 30 Oct. 2019 Embiid shadowboxed to the crowd’s delight on his way back to the locker room. Rob Maaddi, Twin Cities, 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, 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, 8 July 2018 But Mayweather, a shadow of himself, plays defense when shadowboxing. Kevin Acee,, 29 Aug. 2017 Michael Gonzalez, 46, owner of Verde Flowers on Lincoln Avenue was shadowboxing on a recent afternoon. Jaime Lowe, New York Times, 17 Aug. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The winning bidder will receive both the prop itself (complete with wear and tear) and a shadow box that houses the ax and several photos from the film. Jen Juneau,, 19 Apr. 2022 Joy Kohegyi with a shadow box of badges and other items from her career in law enforcement. Kris Maher, WSJ, 27 Jan. 2022 Ribbons and medals adorn a shadow box alongside plaques etched with thanks for hard work and dedicated service. Vincent T. Davis, San Antonio Express-News, 24 Jan. 2022 In Bakersfield, Cody’s uniform, placed in a shadow box by his father, hangs in the entry hall of his older brother’s home. Thomas Curwen Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 5 Dec. 2021 So, my goal is to build a shadow box for both my jersey and medal once things settle down. Lindsay Kimble,, 8 Sep. 2021 His service medals hang in a shadow box in the dining room. al, 5 July 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, 21 May 2021 The hat is now displayed in Ruberg’s home in a shadow box frame, along with a pregnancy test, hospital bracelets, a sonogram image and other newborn paraphernalia. Washington Post, 2 July 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of shadowbox


1924, in the meaning defined above


1891, in the meaning defined above

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best home gyms.

Learn More About shadowbox

Time Traveler for shadowbox

Time Traveler

The first known use of shadowbox was in 1891

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near shadowbox

shadow box


shadow cabinet

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for shadowbox

Cite this Entry

“Shadowbox.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!