1

shadow

play
noun shad·ow \ ˈsha-(ˌ)dō \
Updated on: 11 Sep 2017

Definition of shadow

1 :partial darkness or obscurity within a part of space from which rays from a source of light are cut off by an interposed opaque body
2 :a reflected image
3 :shelter from danger or observation
4 a :an imperfect and faint representation
b :an imitation of something :copy
5 :the dark figure cast upon a surface by a body intercepting the rays from a source of light
6 :phantom
7 shadows plural :dark 1a
8 :a shaded or darker portion of a picture
9 :an attenuated form or a vestigial remnant
10 a :an inseparable companion or follower
b :one (such as a spy or detective) who shadows someone
11 :a small degree or portion :trace
12 :a source of gloom or unhappiness
13 a :an area near an object :vicinity
b :pervasive and dominant influence
14 :a state of ignominy or obscurity

shadowless

play \ˈsha-dō-ləs, -də-ləs\ adjective

shadowlike

play \ˈsha-dō-ˌlīk, -də-ˌlīk\ adjective

Examples of shadow in a Sentence

  1. The tree cast a long shadow across the lawn.

  2. You can see your own shadow on a sunny day.

  3. Part of the valley was in shadow.

  4. He saw something moving in the shadows.

  5. I sensed a shadow of disappointment in his expression.

Recent Examples of shadow from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shadow.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of shadow

Middle English shadwe, from Old English sceaduw-, sceadu shade


2

shadow

verb

Definition of shadow

transitive verb
1 archaic :shelter, protect
2 :to cast a shadow upon :cloud
3 obsolete :to shelter from the sun
4 obsolete :conceal
5 :to represent or indicate obscurely or faintly often used with forth or out
6 a :to follow especially secretly :trail
b :to accompany and observe especially in a professional setting
7 archaic :shade 5
intransitive verb
1 :to pass gradually or by degrees
2 :to become overcast with or as if with shadows

shadower

play \ˈsha-dō-ər, -də-wər\ noun

Examples of shadow in a Sentence

  1. Police shadowed the suspect for several days.

  2. She spent the night shadowing other waiters at the restaurant.

Recent Examples of shadow from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shadow.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of shadow

before 12th century

shadow Synonyms

Synonyms
bird-dog, chase, course, dog, hound, pursue, run, follow, tag, tail, trace, track, trail
Antonyms
guide, lead, pilot
Related Words
accompany, chaperone (or chaperon), escort; hunt, search (for), seek; eye, observe, watch
Near Antonyms
head

3

shadow

adjective

Definition of shadow

1 :of, relating to, or resembling a shadow cabinet
  • shadow minister of defense
2 a :having an indistinct pattern
  • shadow plaid
b :having darker sections of design
  • shadow lace

First Known Use of shadow

1906



SHADOW Defined for English Language Learners

shadow

play
noun

Definition of shadow for English Language Learners

  • : a dark shape that appears on a surface when someone or something moves between the surface and a source of light

  • : an area of darkness created when a source of light is blocked

  • : a very small amount of something


shadow

verb

Definition of shadow for English Language Learners

  • : to cover (something) with a shadow

  • : to follow and watch (someone) especially in a secret way

  • : to follow and watch (someone who is doing a job) in order to learn how to do the job yourself


shadow

adjective

Definition of shadow for English Language Learners

  • —used to describe the members of the main opposition party in British politics who would be given important positions in the government if their party won a national election


SHADOW Defined for Kids

1

shadow

play
noun shad·ow \ ˈsha-dō \

Definition of shadow for Students

1 :the dark figure cast on a surface by a body that is between the surface and the light
  • My shadow stays with me.
2 :1shade 2
  • The valley was in shadow.
3 :phantom
4 :a very little bit :trace
  • I believe his story beyond a shadow of doubt.
5 :something that causes a bad feeling
  • The news cast a shadow over the party.
6 shadows plural :darkness caused by the setting of the sun

2

shadow

verb

Definition of shadow for Students

shadowed; shadowing
1 :to cast a shadow upon
  • Trees shadowed the ground.
2 :to follow and watch closely especially in a secret way

Medical Dictionary

1

shadow

play
noun shad·ow \ ˈshad-(ˌ)ō, -ə(-w) \

medical Definition of shadow

1 a :partial darkness or obscurity within a part of space from which rays from a source of light are cut off by an interposed opaque body
b :a dark outline or image on an X-ray photograph where the X-rays have been blocked by a radiopaque mass (as a tumor)
2 :a colorless or slightly pigmented or stained body (as a degenerate cell or empty membrane) only faintly visible under the microscope

2

shadow

transitive verb

medical Definition of shadow

:to perform shadow-casting on
  • freeze-dried and shadowed myosin molecules


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