noun Cytology, Histology.

a method of enhancing the visibility of the surface features of a specimen for electron microscopic viewing by spraying it from one side with a coating of metal atoms.

Nearby words

  1. shadow-box,
  2. shadow-figure,
  3. shadowbox,
  4. shadowed,
  5. shadowgraph,
  6. shadowland,
  7. shadowless,
  8. shadowy,
  9. shadrach,
  10. shaduf

Origin of shadowing

Related formsself-shad·ow·ing, adjective




a dark figure or image cast on the ground or some surface by a body intercepting light.
shade or comparative darkness, as in an area.
shadows, darkness, especially that coming after sunset.
shelter; protection: sanctuary in the shadow of the church.
a slight suggestion; trace: beyond the shadow of a doubt.
a specter or ghost: pursued by shadows.
a hint or faint, indistinct image or idea; intimation: shadows of things to come.
a mere semblance: the shadow of power.
a reflected image.
(in painting, drawing, graphics, etc.)
  1. the representation of the absence of light on a form.
  2. the dark part of a picture, especially as representing the absence of illumination: Rembrandt's figures often emerge gradually from the shadows.
(in architectural shades and shadows) a dark figure or image cast by an object or part of an object upon a surface that would otherwise be illuminated by the theoretical light source.Compare shade(def 16).
a period or instance of gloom, unhappiness, mistrust, doubt, dissension, or the like, as in friendship or one's life: Their relationship was not without shadows.
a dominant or pervasive threat, influence, or atmosphere, especially one causing gloom, fear, doubt, or the like: They lived under the shadow of war.
an inseparable companion: The dog was his shadow.
a person who follows another in order to keep watch upon that person, as a spy or detective.

verb (used with object)

to overspread with shadow; shade.
to cast a gloom over; cloud: The incident shadowed their meeting.
to screen or protect from light, heat, etc.; shade.
to follow (a person) about secretly, in order to keep watch over his movements.
to represent faintly, prophetically, etc. (often followed by forth).
Archaic. to shelter or protect.
Archaic. to shade in painting, drawing, etc.


of or relating to a shadow cabinet.
without official authority: a shadow government.

Origin of shadow

before 900; (noun) Middle English sch(e)adew(e), schadow, shadw(e), Old English scead(u)we, oblique case of sceadu shade; (v.) Middle English; Old English sceadwian to protect, cover, overshadow, derivative of the noun; compare Old Saxon skadowan, skadoian, Gothic -skadwjan

Related formsshad·ow·er, nounshad·ow·less, adjectiveshad·ow·like, adjectivepre·shad·ow, noun, verb (used with object)

Synonym study

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

Examples from the Web for shadowing

British Dictionary definitions for shadowing



a dark image or shape cast on a surface by the interception of light rays by an opaque body
an area of relative darkness
the dark portions of a picture
a hint, image, or faint semblancebeyond a shadow of a doubt
a remnant or vestigea shadow of one's past self
a reflection
a threatening influence; blighta shadow over one's happiness
a spectre
an inseparable companion
a person who trails another in secret, such as a detective
med a dark area on an X-ray film representing an opaque structure or part
(in Jungian psychology) the archetype that represents man's animal ancestors
archaic, or rare protection or shelter
(modifier) British designating a member or members of the main opposition party in Parliament who would hold ministerial office if their party were in powershadow Chancellor; shadow cabinet

verb (tr)

to cast a shadow over
to make dark or gloomy; blight
to shade from light
to follow or trail secretly
(often foll by forth) to represent vaguely
painting drawing another word for shade (def. 13)
Derived Formsshadower, nounshadowless, adjective

Word Origin for shadow

Old English sceadwe, oblique case of sceadu shade; related to Dutch schaduw

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

Word Origin and History for shadowing
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with shadowing


In addition to the idiom beginning with shadow

  • shadow of one's self

also see:

  • afraid of one's own shadow
  • beyond a (shadow of a) doubt
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.