[ shey-ding ]
/ ˈʃeɪ dɪŋ /


a slight variation or difference of color, character, etc.
the act of a person or thing that shades.
the representation of the different values of color or light and dark in a painting or drawing.

Origin of shading

First recorded in 1605–15; shade + -ing1

Definition for shading (2 of 2)

Origin of shade

before 900; 1960–65 for def 29; (noun) Middle English s(c)hade, Old English sceadu (see shadow); cognate with German Schatten, Gothic skadus, Greek skótos; (v.) Middle English schaden, derivative of the noun

Related forms

Can be confused

color hue shade tint

Synonym study

1. Shade, shadow imply partial darkness or something less bright than the surroundings. Shade indicates the lesser brightness and heat of an area where the direct rays of light do not fall: the shade of a tree. It differs from shadow in that it implies no particular form or definite limit, whereas shadow often refers to the form or outline of the object that intercepts the light: the shadow of a dog. 15. See curtain.

Regional variation note

3. See window shade. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for shading

British Dictionary definitions for shading (1 of 2)


/ (ˈʃeɪdɪŋ) /


the graded areas of tone, lines, dots, etc, indicating light and dark in a painting or drawing

British Dictionary definitions for shading (2 of 2)


/ (ʃeɪd) /


verb (mainly tr)

Derived Forms

shadeless, adjective

Word Origin for shade

Old English sceadu; related to Gothic skadus, Old High German skato, Old Irish scāth shadow, Greek skotos darkness, Swedish skäddä fog
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012