Why was clemency trending last week?


[oh-ver-shad-oh] /ˌoʊ vərˈʃæd oʊ/
verb (used with object)
to be more important or significant by comparison:
For years he overshadowed his brother.
to cast a shadow over; cover with shadows, clouds, darkness, etc.; darken or obscure:
clouds overshadowing the moon.
to make sad or hang heavily over; cast a pall on:
a disappointment that overshadowed their last years.
Archaic. to shelter or protect.
Origin of overshadow
before 900; Middle English overshadewen, Old English ofersceadwian. See over-, shadow
Related forms
overshadower, noun
overshadowingly, adverb
1. eclipse, outshine, dwarf. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for overshadow
  • We as a nation can never again let our fascination with technology overshadow the need to win in close combat.
  • Even if he behaves himself, he could still overshadow his boss through sheer talent and energy.
  • In both countries frustration over the unsteady direction of change has tended, perhaps unfairly, to overshadow real gains.
  • They wanted someone who did not overshadow national leaders, but acted as a secretary general for their summits.
  • Work has its rightful place but does not necessarily have to overshadow all other aspects of life.
  • For some centrists, the deficit has begun to overshadow all other issues.
  • Great little scenes overshadow bigger, more important ones.
  • It would overshadow everything else in our previous history.
  • No they're not, as short-term variations overshadow any long-term trends.
  • The trick is to not let the chatter overshadow the need for quiet reflection that spirituality requires.
British Dictionary definitions for overshadow


verb (transitive)
to render insignificant or less important in comparison
to cast a shadow or gloom over
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
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Word Origin and History for overshadow

Old English ofersceadwian "to cast a shadow over, obscure;" see over + shadow (v.). It was used to render Latin obumbrare in New Testament, as were Middle High German überschatewen, Middle Dutch overschaduwen, Gothic ufarskadwjan. Figurative sense is from 1580s. Related: Overshadowed; overshadowing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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