Definition of shadow-box in English:



[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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In other words, the on-screen Italian American has not only had to shadow box with his own persona, but with other ethnically and racially marginalized groups.’
    • ‘‘You have to go into games and simply look to shadow box with the other guy, be competitive and hope to get a few breaks,’ Predators coach Barry Trotz says.’
    • ‘As we do not yet know the actual timing and circumstances of the election, speculation at the moment is basically shadow-boxing.’
    • ‘Duran paid him no mind and continued to shadow box.’
    • ‘Cheap mirrors reflect distorted amusement-park images of fighters who shadow-box before them.’
    • ‘At least Richardson has had a chance to race through part of this summer, where all the athletes have seemed to be shadow-boxing their way to the Olympics.’
    • ‘Resentment of foreign influence encouraged the growth of a clandestine society called ‘Fists of Righteous Harmony’, known to Europeans as Boxers from its Chinese name and practice of ritual shadow-boxing.’
    • ‘There had been considerable speculation in advance one or both sides would engage in a form of shadow-boxing, but in the event it turned out to be a competitive and entertaining game.’
    • ‘For uninitiated readers, it must seem like shadow-boxing.’
    • ‘This man has been seen stripping down to his underwear and shadow-boxing all in the name of sports elitism.’
    • ‘Some of the fighters who were often ranked higher than Frazier lost their titles to fighters who on their best day would be honored to pay their way into the gym just to see him shadow box.’
    • ‘When they were done, Hearns didn't do anything else but loosen up and shadow box.’
    • ‘And boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who rarely does adverts, promotes the drink by shadow-boxing with inner-city children in Miami.’
    • ‘She senses that the characters and the stories are more real to Howard than anyone realizes; after all, this is a man who will shadow box his way down the street, working out details and dialogue for his next yarn.’
    • ‘He adopted a fighting stance and shadow-boxed.’
    • ‘The emblem of the Beijing Olympics, resembling a five-pointed star in the colours of the Olympic rings, represents a person doing traditional shadow-boxing (tai chi).’
    • ‘He has a few rounds of shadow-boxing with Ahriman, recites some metaphysical mumbo-jumbo, and that's it.’
    1. 1.1 Make a show of tackling a problem or opponent while avoiding any direct engagement.
      ‘a fortnight of political shadow-boxing’
      • ‘Only last month, in the Prime Minister's "seminal" speech about foreign relations, he was still shadow-boxing with the past.’