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overshadow

[oh-ver-shad-oh] /ˌoʊ vərˈʃæd oʊ/
verb (used with object)
1.
to be more important or significant by comparison:
For years he overshadowed his brother.
2.
to cast a shadow over; cover with shadows, clouds, darkness, etc.; darken or obscure:
clouds overshadowing the moon.
3.
to make sad or hang heavily over; cast a pall on:
a disappointment that overshadowed their last years.
4.
Archaic. to shelter or protect.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English overshadewen, Old English ofersceadwian. See over-, shadow
Related forms
overshadower, noun
overshadowingly, adverb
Synonyms
1. eclipse, outshine, dwarf.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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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

overshadow

/ˌəʊvəˈʃædəʊ/
verb (transitive)
1.
to render insignificant or less important in comparison
2.
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
v.

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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