shadow

A shadow is a dark shape that is formed when an object blocks a source of light. On a sunny day, practically everything casts a shadow — including you. Shadow can also act as an action, like when you shadow, or follow, someone on the first day at a new job.

Depending on its use, shadow can have negative or positive connotations. Children often play with their shadows and think of their shadows as constant companions, like in the song lyric "just me and my shadow." On the other hand, you could be such a wimp that you fear your own shadow or at least fear what lurks in the shadows. Used as a verb, a spy could shadow you without your knowledge. Or, your faithful dog might shadow you as you pace around the house. You might be sick and tired of living in the shadow of your older sister who always seems to be the center of attention — blocking you from the spotlight.

Primary Meanings of shadow

1.
nv
a dark shape created by an object blocking a source of light
cast a darkness over
2.
nv
something existing in perception only
make appear small by comparison
3.
nv
a spy employed to follow someone and report their movements
follow, usually without the person's knowledge
Full Definitions of shadow
1

n a dark shape created by an object blocking a source of light

Types:
umbra
a region of complete shadow resulting from total obstruction of light
penumbra
a fringe region of partial shadow around an umbra
Type of:
shade, shadiness, shadowiness
relative darkness caused by light rays being intercepted by an opaque body

n an unilluminated area

Synonyms:
dark, darkness
Type of:
scene
the place where some action occurs

v cast a darkness over

Synonyms:
shade, shade off
Type of:
darken
make dark or darker
2

n something existing in perception only

Synonyms:
apparition, fantasm, phantasm, phantasma, phantom
Types:
UFO, flying saucer, unidentified flying object
an (apparently) flying object whose nature is unknown; especially those considered to have extraterrestrial origins
Flying Dutchman
a phantom ship that is said to appear in storms near the Cape of Good Hope
ghost, shade, specter, spectre, spook, wraith
a mental representation of some haunting experience
Type of:
illusion, semblance
an erroneous mental representation

n a dominating and pervasive presence

“he received little recognition working in the shadow of his father”
Type of:
presence
the state of being present; current existence

n refuge from danger or observation

“he felt secure in his father's shadow
Type of:
recourse, refuge, resort
something or someone turned to for assistance or security

n an indication that something has been present

Synonyms:
tincture, trace, vestige
Types:
footprint
a trace suggesting that something was once present or felt or otherwise important
Type of:
indicant, indication
something that serves to indicate or suggest

n a premonition of something adverse

“a shadow over his happiness”
Type of:
boding, foreboding, premonition, presentiment
a feeling of evil to come

v make appear small by comparison

Synonyms:
dwarf, overshadow
Type of:
command, dominate, overlook, overtop
look down on
3

n a spy employed to follow someone and report their movements

Synonyms:
shadower, tail
Type of:
follower
someone who travels behind or pursues another
spy
a secret watcher; someone who secretly watches other people

n an inseparable companion

“the poor child was his mother's shadow
Type of:
follower
someone who travels behind or pursues another

v follow, usually without the person's knowledge

“The police are shadowing her”
Type of:
follow
to travel behind, go after, come after

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