- the representation of the absence of light on a form.
- the dark part of a picture, especially as representing the absence of illumination: Rembrandt's figures often emerge gradually from the shadows.
verb (used with object)
Origin of shadow
Related Words for shadowdark, gloom, obscurity, shade, dim, obscure, overshadow, stalk, dusk, shelter, cover, umbrage, protection, dimness, penumbra, umbra, adumbration, vestige, relic, trace
Examples from the Web for shadow
Contemporary Examples of shadow
Brinsley came from behind a police cruiser parked on a busy street in the shadow of the Tompkins Public Houses.Alleged Cop Killer Ismaaiyl Brinsley Had a Death Wish
December 22, 2014
If we begin to see the other as our possession and commodity, our shoe, the shadow of our shadow, is there ever a happy outcome?
They seem to belong to us, and then they freely go—behavior very uncharacteristic of a shadow or a shoe.
Hitchcock saw the work of, and probably met, Murnau, the great German filmmaker--the earliest master of bleak light and shadow.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
Krampus makes manifest the shadow sides of human nature that Christianity seeks to repress.Meet Krampus, the Seriously Bad Santa
December 5, 2014
Historical Examples of shadow
They possessed no watches but they measured time by the shadow of the sun-dial.Ancient Man
Hendrik Willem van Loon
His footfall was a feathery thing that carried him like a shadow to the door.
The bright eyes burned at him for a moment longer out of the shadow.
Running the car into the shadow of a ruined house, I try to sleep.Ballads of a Bohemian
Robert W. Service
You would have not a shadow of a case against him in the courts.The Raid From Beausejour; And How The Carter Boys Lifted The Mortgage
Charles G. D. Roberts
Word Origin for shadow
Old English sceadwe, sceaduwe "the effect of interception of sunlight, dark image cast by someone or something when interposed between an object and a source of light," oblique cases ("to the," "from the," "of the," "in the") of sceadu (see shade (n.)). Shadow is to shade (n.) as meadow is to mead (n.2). Cf. Old Saxon skado, Middle Dutch schaeduwe, Dutch schaduw, Old High German scato, German schatten, Gothic skadus "shadow, shade."
From mid-13c. as "darkened area created by shadows, shade." From early 13c. in sense "anything unreal;" mid-14c. as "a ghost;" late 14c. as "a foreshadowing, prefiguration." Meaning "imitation, copy" is from 1690s. Sense of "the faintest trace" is from 1580s; that of "a spy who follows" is from 1859.
As a designation of members of an opposition party chosen as counterparts of the government in power, it is recorded from 1906. Shadow of Death (c.1200) translates Vulgate umbra mortis (Ps. xxiii:4, etc.), which itself translates Greek skia thanatou, perhaps a mistranslation of a Hebrew word for "intense darkness." In "Beowulf," Gendel is a sceadugenga, a shadow-goer, and another word for "darkness" is sceaduhelm. To be afraid of one's (own) shadow "be very timorous" is from 1580s.
Middle English schadowen, Kentish ssedwi, from late Old English sceadwian "to protect as with covering wings" (cf. also overshadow), from the root of shadow (n.). Cf. Old Saxon skadoian, Dutch schaduwen, Old High German scatewen, German (über)schatten. From mid-14c. as "provide shade;" late 14c. as "cast a shadow over" (literal and figurative), from early 15c. as "darken" (in illustration, etc.). Meaning "to follow like a shadow" is from c.1600 in an isolated instance; not attested again until 1872. Related: Shadowed; shadowing.
In addition to the idiom beginning with shadow
- shadow of one's self
- afraid of one's own shadow
- beyond a (shadow of a) doubt