Word of the Day Archive
Wednesday March 22, 2000
1. To foreshadow; prefigure.
2. To produce a faint image or resemblance of; to outline or sketch.
3. To darken or conceal partially; overshadow.
The four composers represented here were all born in the 16th century, and, with the exception of Viadana, whose works adumbrate the lush Italian baroque which was to follow, are pure and classical Renaissance.
-- Classical reviews, Billboard, 1931.
Of course ideas - especially political ideas, and especially one's own - pose certain risks for fiction. It is a peculiarity of Eisenberg's writing (Norman Rush may be her only peer in this) that it manages to adumbrate "the structures of the world we live in" without ever telling us what to do.
-- Garth Risk Hallburg, "Reality Squared: A Profile of Deborah Eisenberg", The Millions.
Adumbrate derives from Latin adumbrare, "to sketch" (literally, "to shade towards," hence "to foreshadow or prefigure"), from ad-, "towards" + umbrare, "to shade," from umbra, "shadow."