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shadow

[shad-oh] /ˈʃæd oʊ/
noun
1.
a dark figure or image cast on the ground or some surface by a body intercepting light.
2.
shade or comparative darkness, as in an area.
3.
shadows, darkness, especially that coming after sunset.
4.
shelter; protection:
sanctuary in the shadow of the church.
5.
a slight suggestion; trace:
beyond the shadow of a doubt.
6.
a specter or ghost:
pursued by shadows.
7.
a hint or faint, indistinct image or idea; intimation:
shadows of things to come.
8.
a mere semblance:
the shadow of power.
9.
a reflected image.
10.
  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.
11.
(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).
12.
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.
13.
a dominant or pervasive threat, influence, or atmosphere, especially one causing gloom, fear, doubt, or the like:
They lived under the shadow of war.
14.
an inseparable companion:
The dog was his shadow.
15.
a person who follows another in order to keep watch upon that person, as a spy or detective.
verb (used with object)
16.
to overspread with shadow; shade.
17.
to cast a gloom over; cloud:
The incident shadowed their meeting.
18.
to screen or protect from light, heat, etc.; shade.
19.
to follow (a person) about secretly, in order to keep watch over his movements.
20.
to represent faintly, prophetically, etc. (often followed by forth).
21.
Archaic. to shelter or protect.
22.
Archaic. to shade in painting, drawing, etc.
adjective
23.
of or pertaining to a shadow cabinet.
24.
without official authority:
a shadow government.
Origin
900
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 forms
shadower, noun
shadowless, adjective
shadowlike, adjective
preshadow, noun, verb (used with object)
Synonyms
1. See shade.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for shadows
  • The day was overcast, meaning no shadows and near-perfect light.
  • When the sun is low on the horizon, for example, the wall casts extended shadows that make it possible to discern its silhouette.
  • Next, there should be a birth defects study and cancer study in the stack shadows.
  • Now we're so afraid of our shadows we're paralyzing ourselves.
  • And one lurker, previously too lazy to register, comes out of the shadows.
  • There is so much light that it casts shadows on the ground.
  • Most of the guests stayed in the shadows around the edges of the circular ballroom.
  • Suleiman, sixty-seven, had moved quietly through the shadows for years.
  • Fuzzier shadows--cast by a hand held over a table, for instance--translated into a vague, eerie glow.
  • These are plants, trees, and they cast shadows as well.
British Dictionary definitions for shadows

shadow

/ˈʃædəʊ/
noun
1.
a dark image or shape cast on a surface by the interception of light rays by an opaque body
2.
an area of relative darkness
3.
the dark portions of a picture
4.
a hint, image, or faint semblance: beyond a shadow of a doubt
5.
a remnant or vestige: a shadow of one's past self
6.
a reflection
7.
a threatening influence; blight: a shadow over one's happiness
8.
a spectre
9.
an inseparable companion
10.
a person who trails another in secret, such as a detective
11.
(med) a dark area on an X-ray film representing an opaque structure or part
12.
(in Jungian psychology) the archetype that represents man's animal ancestors
13.
(archaic or rare) protection or shelter
14.
(modifier) (Brit) designating a member or members of the main opposition party in Parliament who would hold ministerial office if their party were in power: shadow Chancellor, shadow cabinet
verb (transitive)
15.
to cast a shadow over
16.
to make dark or gloomy; blight
17.
to shade from light
18.
to follow or trail secretly
19.
(often foll by forth) to represent vaguely
20.
(painting, drawing) another word for shade (sense 13)
Derived Forms
shadower, noun
shadowless, adjective
Word Origin
Old English sceadwe, oblique case of sceadushade; 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
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Word Origin and History for shadows

shadow

n.

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.

v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for shadows

shadow

noun

: They put a shadow on the suspect

verb

To follow a person secretly; do physical surveillance; tail (1872+)

[verb sense found by 1602 in an isolated instance]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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shadows in the Bible

used in Col. 2:17; Heb. 8:5; 10:1 to denote the typical relation of the Jewish to the Christian dispensation.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with shadows

shadow

In addition to the idiom beginning with
shadow
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Word Value for shadows

14
13
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