Meaning of “shadow” in the English Dictionary

"shadow" in British English

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shadownoun

uk /ˈʃæd.əʊ/ us /ˈʃæd.oʊ/

shadow noun (DARKNESS)

B1 [ C ] an area of darkness, caused by light being blocked by something:

The children were playing, jumping on each other's shadows.
Jamie followed his mother around all day like a shadow.
The sun shone through the leaves, casting/throwing shadows on the lawn.
This corner of the room is always in shadow (= slight darkness).
the shadows [ plural ]

an area of darkness in which people and things cannot be seen:

Someone jumped out of the shadows and grabbed my handbag.

[ C ] a small dark area of skin under your eye:

She put on some make-up to cover the dark shadows under her eyes.
be in/under the shadow of sth

to be very close to a larger building or place:

His workshop was in the shadow of the great church of San Paolo Maggiore.

to be in a situation in which something unpleasant either seems likely to happen and to have a bad effect on your life, or is already having a bad effect on your life:

We are all living under the shadow of war.

More examples

shadow noun (SMALL AMOUNT)

[ S ] a small amount:

It is a tragic story, but there is a shadow of hope.
There isn't a shadow of doubt that you've made the right decision.
beyond/without a shadow of a doubt

C2 If something is true beyond a shadow of a doubt, there is no doubt that it is true:

This is without a shadow of a doubt the best movie I've seen all year.

shadowverb [ T ]

uk /ˈʃæd.əʊ/ us /ˈʃæd.oʊ/

shadowadjective [ before noun ]

uk /ˈʃæd.əʊ/ us /ˈʃæd.oʊ/ UK

used in the title of important politicians in the main opposition party (= the party not in government):

the Shadow Foreign Secretary
the Shadow Cabinet

(Definition of “shadow” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"shadow" in American English

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shadownoun

us /ˈʃæd·oʊ/

shadow noun (DARKNESS)

[ C/U ] an area of darkness caused when light is blocked by something, usually in a shape similar to the object that is blocking the light:

[ C ] Chloë kept jumping on Tyler’s shadow.
[ U ] This corner of the room is always in shadow.
[ C ] He was standing in the shadows (= a dark area).

shadow noun (SMALL AMOUNT)

[ C ] a small amount:

He saw a shadow of malice in her dark eyes.
Are you convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt?

shadowverb [ T ]

us /ˈʃæd·oʊ/

shadow verb [ T ] (FOLLOW)

to follow someone closely:

Matsuoka was shadowed by a security officer.

(Definition of “shadow” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"shadow" in Business English

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shadowverb [ T ]

uk /ˈʃædəʊ/ us

HR to spend time with someone who is doing a particular job so that you can learn how to do it:

All trainees are expected to spend a week shadowing an experienced manager.

to behave in the same way or move in the same direction as something else:

The cost of goods and services will shadow the recent rise in oil prices.

shadowadjective [ before noun ]

uk /ˈʃædəʊ/ us

POLITICS in the UK, used to describe a leading member of Parliament whose party is not in power but who would be part of the cabinet (= people who are in charge of a department and make the main decisions) if their party were in power:

the shadow Foreign Secretary

(Definition of “shadow” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)