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1a dark area or shape produced by a body coming between rays of light and a surface:trees cast long shadows partial or complete darkness, especially as produced in this way:the north side of the cathedral was deep in shadow (shadows)a stranger slowly approached from the shadows the shaded part of a picture. a dark patch or area on a surface:there are dark shadows beneath your eyes a region of opacity on a radiograph:shadows on his lungs 2used in reference to proximity, ominous oppressiveness, or sadness and gloom:the shadow of war fell across Europe only one shadow lay over Sally’s life used in reference to something insubstantial or fleeting:a freedom that was more shadow than substance used in reference to a position of relative inferiority or obscurity:he lived in the shadow of his father [with negative] the slightest trace of something:she knew without a shadow of a doubt that he was lying a weak or inferior remnant or version of something:this fine-looking, commanding man had become a shadow of his former self an expression of perplexity or sadness:a shadow crossed Maria’s face 3an inseparable attendant or companion:her faithful shadow, a Yorkshire terrier called Heathcliffe a person secretly following and observing another. a person who accompanies someone in their daily activities at work in order to gain experience at or insight into a job. [usually as modifier] British the opposition counterpart of a government minister:the shadow Chancellor
verb [with object]
1envelop in shadow; cast a shadow over:the market is shadowed by St. Margaret’s church a hood shadowed her face 2follow and observe (someone) closely and typically secretly:he had been up all night shadowing a team of poachers British (of an opposition politician) be the counterpart of (a government minister or a ministry). accompany (someone) in their daily activities at work in order to gain experience at or insight into a job.