I once saw the expression "to shadow" being used to say that something makes another thing unnoticeable because it attracts more attention, but I can't find a definition for this expression that fits this. Example:

Famous singers shadow other artists that try to make a living...

Does this sentence make sense?

  • 4
    "cast a shadow over" would probably work better, if you insist on using shadow. Please do a little research before asking if a word is appropriate... Oct 11, 2020 at 19:20
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    'Eclipse' is the single-word metaphor. I've not found 'shadow' in a list of synonyms (and I didn't expect to). Oct 11, 2020 at 19:25
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    Shadow is more usually used the other way round: in Lexico verb 2.2 Accompany (someone) in their daily activities at work in order to gain experience at or insight into a job. Oct 11, 2020 at 19:33
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    @WeatherVane That's exactly what I was thinking when I saw the Q. Oct 11, 2020 at 19:33
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    Not usually, but as this is on a site primarily about computers and programming, it IS used in many programming languages to mean one variable/declaration 'hiding' or 'masking' another: see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variable_shadowing . Oct 12, 2020 at 6:31

1 Answer 1


The verb 'shadow' is not used in that way. You are probably thinking of overshadow, "to cause someone or something to seem less important or less happy".

Famous singers overshadow other artists that try to make a living.
Jane has always felt overshadowed by her famous elder sister.
My happiness was overshadowed by the bad news.
My mother's imprisonment overshadowed my childhood.
My dog's death overshadowed my joy at Biden's victory.
Cristiano Ronaldo came out fighting after the defeat to Barcelona in El Clasico. It was clear Lionel Messi had overshadowed him throughout.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed overshadowed him as a leader.

Overshadow (Cambridge Dictionary)

  • One problem: The verb can be transitive, or intransitive. Your passive voice examples indicate transitive. So isn't it possible...""Famous singers overshadow other artists that try to make a living..? Oct 11, 2020 at 20:37
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    @Cascabel - fixed. Oct 11, 2020 at 20:40
  • Oh My Dog...those sentences are very nice...+1 Oct 11, 2020 at 20:45
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    @Cascabel - my dog - tempting fate, maybe? Oct 11, 2020 at 21:25

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