What does shadow mean?

Definitions for shadow
ˈʃæd oʊshad·ow

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word shadow.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. shadow(noun)

    shade within clear boundaries

  2. darkness, dark, shadow(noun)

    an unilluminated area

    "he moved off into the darkness"

  3. apparition, phantom, phantasm, phantasma, fantasm, shadow(noun)

    something existing in perception only

    "a ghostly apparition at midnight"

  4. shadow(noun)

    a premonition of something adverse

    "a shadow over his happiness"

  5. trace, vestige, tincture, shadow(noun)

    an indication that something has been present

    "there wasn't a trace of evidence for the claim"; "a tincture of condescension"

  6. shadow(noun)

    refuge from danger or observation

    "he felt secure in his father's shadow"

  7. shadow(noun)

    a dominating and pervasive presence

    "he received little recognition working in the shadow of his father"

  8. tail, shadow, shadower(noun)

    a spy employed to follow someone and report their movements

  9. shadow(verb)

    an inseparable companion

    "the poor child was his mother's shadow"

  10. shadow(verb)

    follow, usually without the person's knowledge

    "The police are shadowing her"

  11. shadow, shade, shade off(verb)

    cast a shadow over

  12. shadow, overshadow, dwarf(verb)

    make appear small by comparison

    "This year's debt dwarfs that of last year"


  1. shadow(Noun)

    A dark image projected onto a surface where light is blocked by the shade of an object.

    My shadow lengthened as the sun began to set.

  2. shadow(Noun)

    Relative darkness, especially as caused by the interruption of light; gloom, obscurity.

    I immediately jumped into shadow as I saw them approach.

  3. shadow(Noun)

    That which looms as though a shadow.

  4. shadow(Noun)

    Merely a hint of substance.

  5. shadow(Noun)

    One who secretly or furtively follows another.

    The constable was promoted to working as a shadow for the Royals.

  6. shadow(Noun)

    A type of lettering form of word processors that makes a cubic effect.

  7. shadow(Noun)

    An influence, especially a pervasive or a negative one.

  8. shadow(Verb)

    To block light or radio transmission.

    Looks like that cloud's going to shadow us.

  9. shadow(Verb)

    To secretly or discreetly track or follow another, to keep under surveillance.

  10. shadow(Verb)

    To make an identifier, usually a variable, inaccessible by declaring another of the same name within the scope of the first.

  11. Origin: sceaduwe, inflected form of sceadu ( > English shade).

Webster Dictionary

  1. Shadow(noun)

    shade within defined limits; obscurity or deprivation of light, apparent on a surface, and representing the form of the body which intercepts the rays of light; as, the shadow of a man, of a tree, or of a tower. See the Note under Shade, n., 1

  2. Shadow(noun)

    darkness; shade; obscurity

  3. Shadow(noun)

    a shaded place; shelter; protection; security

  4. Shadow(noun)

    a reflected image, as in a mirror or in water

  5. Shadow(noun)

    that which follows or attends a person or thing like a shadow; an inseparable companion; hence, an obsequious follower

  6. Shadow(noun)

    a spirit; a ghost; a shade; a phantom

  7. Shadow(noun)

    an imperfect and faint representation; adumbration; indistinct image; dim bodying forth; hence, mystical representation; type

  8. Shadow(noun)

    a small degree; a shade

  9. Shadow(noun)

    an uninvited guest coming with one who is invited

  10. Shadow(noun)

    to cut off light from; to put in shade; to shade; to throw a shadow upon; to overspead with obscurity

  11. Shadow(noun)

    to conceal; to hide; to screen

  12. Shadow(noun)

    to protect; to shelter from danger; to shroud

  13. Shadow(noun)

    to mark with gradations of light or color; to shade

  14. Shadow(noun)

    to represent faintly or imperfectly; to adumbrate; hence, to represent typically

  15. Shadow(noun)

    to cloud; to darken; to cast a gloom over

  16. Shadow(noun)

    to attend as closely as a shadow; to follow and watch closely, especially in a secret or unobserved manner; as, a detective shadows a criminal

  17. Origin: [Originally the same word as shade. 162. See Shade.]


  1. Shadow

    A shadow is an area where direct light from a light source cannot reach due to obstruction by an object. It occupies all of the space behind an opaque object with light in front of it. The cross section of a shadow is a two-dimensional silhouette, or reverse projection of the object blocking the light. The sun causes many objects to have shadows and at certain times of the day, when the sun is at certain heights, the lengths of shadows change. An astronomical object casts human-visible shadows when its apparent magnitude is equal or lower than −4. Currently the only astronomical objects able to produce visible shadows on Earth are the sun, the moon and, in the right conditions, Venus or Jupiter.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Shadow

    shad′ō, n. shade caused by an object: darkness: shelter: security: favour: the dark part of a picture: an inseparable companion: a mystical representation: faint appearance: a ghost, spirit: something only in appearance.—v.t to shade: to cloud or darken: to shade, as a painting: to represent faintly: to hide, conceal: (coll.) to attend like a shadow, watch continuously and carefully.—ns. Shad′ow-fig′ure, a silhouette; Shad′owiness, the state of being shadowy or unsubstantial; Shad′owing, shading: gradation of light and colour.—adj. Shad′owless.—n. Shad′ow-stitch, in lace-making, a very delicate kind of ladder-stitch used in fine open-work.—adj. Shad′owy, full of shadow: dark: obscure: typical: unsubstantial: (rare) indulging in fancies.—Shadow of death, approach of death: terrible disaster. [A.S. sceadu; cog. with Old High Ger. scato, and perh. Gr. skotos, darkness, skia, shadow.]

Editors Contribution

  1. shadow

    A word used to describe a person who is assigned a role, responsibility and objectives to work with and in partnership with a person of a similar or progressive job, role and responsibility to be educated, taught and informed with the vital experience, skills, processes, procedures, tools, technology and training to teach them the information they need to know and learn.

    My new manager at my appraisal set me an assignment to shadow the person I report to to ensure I could progress to a deputy role in the future with the company, I was delighted and we put a timetable and objectives in place.

    Submitted by MaryC on July 2, 2016  
  2. shadow

    A word used to describe or refer to a type of elected government minister who is part of the official government opposition within a specific type of legislature or government with this type of role or structure.

    In the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada they have a shadow cabinet and shadow ministers.

    Submitted by MaryC on July 2, 2016  

Suggested Resources

  1. shadow

    Song lyrics by shadow -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by shadow on the Lyrics.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'shadow' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3274

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'shadow' in Written Corpus Frequency: #4458

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'shadow' in Nouns Frequency: #1009

How to pronounce shadow?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say shadow in sign language?

  1. shadow


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of shadow in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of shadow in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of shadow in a Sentence

  1. Democritus:

    Word is a shadow of a deed.

  2. Wissous Mayor Richard Trinquier:

    I didn't hesitate a shadow of a second.

  3. Burmese Proverb:

    Beware of a man's shadow and a bee's sting.

  4. Mehmet Murat ildan:

    I like my shadow; it reminds me that I exist.

  5. Mehmet Murat ildan:

    Under the shadow of swords, any plan is good.

Images & Illustrations of shadow

  1. shadowshadowshadowshadowshadow

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for shadow

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"shadow." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 14 Dec. 2019. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/shadow>.

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