Definition of shadow-box in English:

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[no object] (often as noun shadow-boxing)
1Spar with an imaginary opponent as a form of training: train for agility with fast shadow-boxing they shadow-boxed a bit to warm up
More example sentences
  • Greer scorns the spectacle of ‘a modern Hamlet bumbling and dithering around the stage, shadow-boxing with his own personality, especially when the part is played in a cinematic inward-turning way.’
  • The words sound very outspoken and authoritative, but are really shadow-boxing: nobody who is sufficiently civilised in approach to be reading such a book is likely to disagree with them.
  • Things are going to go wrong on the first day, but it is like shadow-boxing: it is not going to be the real fight.
1.1Make a show of tackling a problem or opponent while avoiding any direct engagement: a fortnight of political shadow-boxing
More example sentences
  • Only last month, in the Prime Minister's "seminal" speech about foreign relations, he was still shadow-boxing with the past.

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