over·​shad·​ow | \ ˌō-vər-ˈsha-(ˌ)dō How to pronounce overshadow (audio) \
overshadowed; overshadowing; overshadows

Definition of overshadow

transitive verb

1 : to cast a shadow over
2 : to exceed in importance : outweigh

Examples of overshadow in a Sentence

The pitcher's outstanding performance should not overshadow the achievements of the rest of the team. large trees overshadow the yard and darken the house for much of the day
Recent Examples on the Web And yet headlines like that one are still assaulting us with alarming regularity, allowing the focus on women’s bodies to overshadow or even undermine our successes. Michelle Konstantinovsky, Glamour, 23 Nov. 2021 But Cowboys defenders also intercepted Herbert twice, stemming the tide of an attack that threatened to overshadow what a solid game plan offensive coordinator Kellen Moore called. Jori Epstein, USA TODAY, 19 Sep. 2021 And such a massive force could overshadow upcoming talent and monopolize the space quickly. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz, 3 Nov. 2021 While McAuliffe is eager to talk about his accomplishments during his single term as governor, his gregarious personality can overshadow his policies during campaign swings. Steve Peoples, ajc, 22 Oct. 2021 On management is hoping the stock offering will overshadow Vietnam and COVID-19, at least for a few days. oregonlive, 15 Sep. 2021 Carlile’s acoustic guitar approach was also sparse and deliberate, so as not to overshadow their voices. Annie Zaleski, Rolling Stone, 31 Oct. 2021 Careful not to overshadow Biden, though, Obama won't arrive at COP until November 8, a week after Biden's own appearance at the event, starting this Monday. Isaac Dovere, CNN, 29 Oct. 2021 His success with the Cubs now doesn’t overshadow that gratitude. Meghan Montemurro, chicagotribune.com, 25 Aug. 2021

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of overshadow was before the 12th century

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Last Updated

28 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Overshadow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overshadow. Accessed 2 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for overshadow



English Language Learners Definition of overshadow

: to cause (something or someone) to seem less important or impressive when compared to something or someone else
: to make (something) less enjoyable because of sadness, fear, or worry
: to cast a shadow over (something)


over·​shad·​ow | \ ˌō-vər-ˈsha-dō How to pronounce overshadow (audio) \
overshadowed; overshadowing

Kids Definition of overshadow

1 : to cast a shadow over : darken
2 : to be or become more important than Her achievements overshadowed those of her classmates.

More from Merriam-Webster on overshadow

Nglish: Translation of overshadow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of overshadow for Arabic Speakers


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