Definition of shadow noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    shadow

     noun
    noun
    BrE BrE//ˈʃædəʊ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈʃædoʊ//
     
     
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    dark shape
  1. 1  [countable] the dark shape that somebody/something’s form makes on a surface, for example on the ground, when they are between the light and the surface The children were having fun, chasing each other's shadows. The ship's sail cast a shadow on the water. The shadows lengthened as the sun went down. (figurative) He didn't want to cast a shadow on (= spoil) their happiness. Which Word?shade / shadow Shade [U] is an area or a part of a place that is protected from the heat of the sun and so is darker and cooler:Let’s sit in the shade for a while. A shadow [C] is the dark shape made when a light shines on a person or an object:As the sun went down we cast long shadows on the lawn. Shadow [U] is an area of darkness in which it is difficult to distinguish things easily:Her face was in deep shadow.
  2. darkness
  3. 2  [uncountable] (also shadows [plural]) darkness in a place or on something, especially so that you cannot easily see who or what is there His face was deep in shadow, turned away from her. I thought I saw a figure standing in the shadows. Which Word?shade / shadow Shade [U] is an area or a part of a place that is protected from the heat of the sun and so is darker and cooler:Let’s sit in the shade for a while. A shadow [C] is the dark shape made when a light shines on a person or an object:As the sun went down we cast long shadows on the lawn. Shadow [U] is an area of darkness in which it is difficult to distinguish things easily:Her face was in deep shadow.
  4. small amount
  5. 3[singular] shadow of something a very small amount of something synonym hint A shadow of a smile touched his mouth. She knew beyond a shadow of a doubt (= with no doubt at all) that he was lying.
  6. influence
  7. 4[singular] shadow of somebody/something the strong (usually bad) influence of somebody/something The new leader wants to escape from the shadow of his predecessor. These people have been living for years under the shadow of fear.
  8. under eyes
  9. 5shadows [plural] dark areas under somebody’s eyes, because they are tired, etc. She looked pale, with deep shadows under her eyes.
  10. somebody that follows somebody
  11. 6[countable] a person or an animal that follows somebody else all the time
  12. something not real
  13. 7[countable] a thing that is not real or possible to obtain You can't spend all your life chasing shadows.
  14. see also eyeshadow, five o’clock shadow
    Word Origin Old English scead(u)we (noun), oblique case of sceadu (see shade), sceadwian ‘screen or shield from attack’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch schaduw and German Schatten (nouns), from an Indo-European root shared by Greek skotos ‘darkness’.Extra examples A dark shadow loomed over her. A huge figure stepped out of the shadows. As the shadows lengthened, the men drifted home for their tea. Deep shadows lay across the small clearing where they sat. His face was in shadow. I backed into the shadows until the car had passed. I could just make out a figure in the shadows. She had always lived in the shadow of her older sister. She shrank back into the shadows as the footsteps approached. Suddenly a huge figure loomed up out of the shadows. Suddenly a large figure emerged from the shadows. The boat’s sail cast a shadow on the water. The candles on the table threw huge flickering shadows against the wall. The evening shadows were beginning to fall. The house lay in dark shadow. The industry is a pale shadow of its former self. The shadows of the clouds passed over us. The storm clouds threw the mountain peaks into dense shadow. The streets were now filled with terrible shadows. Use a desk light to produce a strong shadow. an odd shape among the shadows criminals lurking in the shadows the fears that kept crowding in on her as she hurried through the shadows the flickering shadows of the flames As he stood still I traced the outline of his shadow on the wall. His face was deep in shadow, turned away from her. She lay on the bed in a pool of shadow. The children were having fun, chasing each other’s shadows.Idioms
    be frightened/nervous/scared of your own shadow
     
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    to be very easily frightened; to be very nervous See related entries: Fear
    be a shadow/ghost of your former self
     
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    to not have the strength, influence, etc. that you used to have When his career ended, he became a shadow of his former self.
    1. 1very close to The new market is in the shadow of the City Hall.
    2. 2when you say that somebody is in/under the shadow of another person, you mean that they do not receive as much attention as that person A younger son often lives in the shadow of his elder brother.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: shadow