Spanish Word of the Day Archive
Saturday September 7, 2013

sombra, noun:
shade; shadow

Sombra covers two separate meanings in English. It can refer both to being in the shade and to a shadow. When it means shade it’s often used in the phrase a la sombra:

Prefiero sentarme a la sombra, para que el sol no me dé en la cara
I prefer sitting in the shade so that the sun doesn’t shine in my face

In bullrings the seats in the shade are more expensive than those in the sun, and they’re known as localidades a la sombra seats in the shade.

In its other meaning of shadow, sombra is often used metaphorically:

la alargada sombra de la Mafia
the long shadow of the Mafia

Sólo Picasso fue capaz de hacerle sombra
Only Picasso was capable of overshadowing him

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