Definition of overshadow in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Tower above and cast a shadow over.

    ‘an enormous oak tree stood overshadowing the cottage’
    • ‘Christ Church has an interesting connection with Lang Park and rugby league… and even though the stadium completely overshadows the historic church the goodwill between the two remains very strong.’
    • ‘The conventual buildings are strung out along a narrow ridge above the water, supported but also overshadowed by solid rock.’
    • ‘I noticed that the garden was completely overshadowed by the woods looming above.’
    • ‘Phantasia steadied herself and made for the steps that led up to the main entrance, overshadowed by a large, dark canopy.’
    • ‘The additional problem being the large windows which are overshadowed by the Gallery and so cast a flat light on the stair making it difficult to distinguish treads from risers.’
    • ‘The bathhouse was overshadowed by the enormous, lanky scattered trees.’
    • ‘People living near the site fear the development will overshadow their homes, increase noise and traffic and lead to a loss of privacy.’
    • ‘It wasn't a nice area, as far as Milan goes, being overshadowed by the ugly Pirelli Tower.’
    • ‘When it stood, it overshadowed even Alexander, who was quite tall.’
    • ‘It is however overshadowed by nearby Kilimanjaro, which rises above it by over 1300 m.’
    • ‘The giant pole has been erected just inside the boundary wall of the ESB depot but it completely overshadows the adjacent town library and it towers over a seated picnic area in the immediate vicinity.’
    • ‘The amalgam of buildings will soar above Liberty Hall, overshadowing all of the resident communities.’
    • ‘He said the scheme was pitched below the height of Victorian Behrens Warehouse standing opposite and would not overshadow it.’
    • ‘The petals from the surrounding cherry blossoms were falling, as the shadow of Tokyo Tower overshadowed us.’
    • ‘The focus of his meditation is the lighthouse that rears up from within the complex; in rectifying the lapses of the Pallavas, this tower also overshadows the cave temple of Mahishasura-mardini.’
    • ‘Simon and Christine stood still, overshadowed by the two large statues.’
    • ‘Our first mission: to open a new shopping centre (presumably some great carbuncle overshadowing Clifford's Tower).’
    • ‘Druid leader King Arthur Pendragon presided over the festivities standing amid a ring of flaming torches overshadowed by a pair of giant horns, themselves lit by burning branches.’
    • ‘Fields were turned into subdivisions, and the town's small downtown was overshadowed by a sprawling regional mall.’
    • ‘Having viewed the shed from the rear ground floor room of number 90 and from its garden, I do not consider that it overshadows that property to any significant extent or causes any material loss of light.’
    shade, darken, conceal, obscure, block out, obliterate, eclipse, screen, shroud, veil, mantle, cloak, mask
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    1. 1.1 Cast gloom over.
      ‘it is easy to let this feeling of tragedy overshadow his story’
      • ‘Whatever the case, it's a sign of our miserabilist times that precisely the time of year when there is the most fun to be had is overshadowed by tales of gloom.’
      • ‘However, this victory for state lawmakers is being overshadowed by persistent stories of voter confusion over which way to vote.’
      • ‘But the designer is a little shaken by an accident that has overshadowed her new collection.’
      • ‘However, that racing tragedy was more than overshadowed by the sudden death of his wife Margaret a little over two years ago.’
      • ‘The string of tragedies overshadowed the coalition's triumphs of mid-August and September.’
      • ‘These stories tend to overshadow the way Lottery grants have made a real difference to countless grassroots organisations.’
      • ‘He said many areas had serious underlying problems which were overshadowing significant improvements being made to health services.’
      • ‘The warning is against allowing the aftermath of instantaneous tragedy to overshadow the various ongoing crises that are ignored because the effects are stretched over time.’
      • ‘Possibly because of this tragedy rightly overshadowing all other aspects, little has been heard of the monetary cost of this misbegotten adventure.’
      • ‘It was inevitable that the tragedy would overshadow the rout.’
      • ‘THEIR STORIES may vary but a common thread binds them together, for their life has been overshadowed by a deep sense of despair and tragedy.’
      • ‘These stories are overshadowed, though, by the disappointment and bitterness that lingers after frustrating political battles.’
      • ‘The sputtering of the economy over the past 18 months now has been overshadowed by terror and tragedy.’
      • ‘War overshadows much of this music: Napoleon's defeat at Leipzig for Beethoven's work (its premiere was a charity concert for wounded soldiers), and post-war destruction for Strauss.’
      • ‘Why then does his plight overshadow the tender story of the prince?’
      • ‘Despite the gloom that's overshadowed the sector for a while, he believes that there are reasons to be hopeful.’
      • ‘But the speculation has overshadowed that, and it also has overshadowed the wins and the great plays.’
      • ‘There is an inevitable sense of foreboding and personal betrayal that seem to overshadow any story told in this genre.’
      • ‘I found several stories, admittedly usually overshadowed by the tragic and heroic stories of Australian victims and survivors.’
      • ‘Investor gloom may well overshadow improving economic fundamentals through the summer.’
      cast gloom over, blight, take the pleasure out of, bring a note of sadness to, take the edge off, mar, spoil, ruin
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  • 2Appear much more prominent or important than.

    ‘his competitive nature often overshadows the other qualities’
    • ‘Routine modernization and the recapitalization of legacy systems appear to overshadow programs that could yield disruptive innovation.’
    • ‘Some important stories are being overshadowed in the process.’
    • ‘With just five weeks to go before the midterm elections, the talk of war appears to be overshadowing other issues, such as the economy and Social Security.’
    • ‘Even events of the most serious nature get overshadowed by the political squabbles that will result as both sides attempt to leverage the issue to their advantage.’
    • ‘Have college athletics become too important, in some cases overshadowing colleges' primary goal?’
    • ‘This overshadows the quality of the cinematography and framing.’
    • ‘The fief overshadowed fealty, the benefice became more important than vassalage, and freemen began to swear allegiance to the highest bidder only.’
    • ‘But too often, experts say, economic issues overshadow important emotional considerations.’
    • ‘The dilemmas with which they had previously wrestled appear to be momentarily overshadowed by their new horizons.’
    • ‘This has been somewhat to the detriment of his later work which, whilst more conventional in style, has qualities which have been overshadowed by his fashionable earlier output.’
    • ‘The court hopes that this film's quality will eventually overshadow its bizarre notoriety.’
    • ‘So bewitching is this exuberance that public opinion occasionally overshadows artistic instinct.’
    • ‘There is, however, a danger of the high quality of the music overshadowing the script.’
    • ‘Their proactive constituencies espouse approaches that their opponents claim overshadow more important issues.’
    • ‘Social values and the promotion of a positive self image are at the forefront and for some, overshadow mere competition.’
    • ‘But it was not intended to stand apart from his scientific work, let alone overshadow it.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, the questionable nature of this association overshadowed the validity of her theory of translation.’
    • ‘In later Buddhist folklore and thought these sentiments grew so prominent as to overshadow even the premier value of liberation.’
    • ‘Indeed, certain aspects, such as the important provider role, may overshadow the progressive and egalitarian ideals and behaviors that are becoming so prevalent.’
    • ‘However, the delegation's overall retrograde tactics overshadowed its few good ideas for public/private partnerships and foreign aid.’
    1. 2.1 Be more impressive or successful than (another person)
      ‘he was always overshadowed by his brilliant elder brother’
      • ‘The official candidate was greatly overshadowed by the other four self-appointed independent candidates.’
      • ‘Even in his own field he has been overshadowed in the public eye by those who have popularized his ideas.’
      • ‘It's as if he felt the other musicians were overshadowing him on his own album and, dammit, he decided to do something about it.’
      • ‘A feisty performance threatens to overwhelm some of her co-performers, but in a real test of her ability she plays her part without overshadowing the main leads.’
      • ‘Most likely, though, it's because he was overshadowed by the opening band.’
      • ‘While Anita was sociable and well-liked by her peers, Betty was often overshadowed by her cousin and believed to be snobbish as a result of common misperceptions.’
      • ‘And his parents always caught him at the wrong times - and then there was always Quasim to overshadow him and make everything worse.’
      • ‘Once again, however, while it is a strong female with both feminine and masculinized qualities who has saved the day, there is no strong male partner present to overshadow her.’
      • ‘Whereas Ana was a very beautiful girl in her own right, Sophia often overshadowed her, which got on the younger girl's nerves every once in a while, but she had learned not to show it.’
      • ‘So engaging was she that she overshadowed the male lead.’
      • ‘The bridegroom overshadowed the bride in almost every way: he was the one looking like an oversized Jaffa, decked out in a bright orange suite with a gay, orange floral tie.’
      • ‘The actor too often overshadows the character he plays.’
      • ‘At the '96 Olympics, the U.S. women's team so overshadowed the men that the NBA stars almost could slip in and out the back door.’
      • ‘There is little sense of Lear's kingly stature, and he's almost overshadowed by his daughters.’
      • ‘‘You don't want someone overshadowing the President,’ said an official.’
      • ‘And, of course, what President would want to appoint his predecessor, a man of great charm and pizzaz, to a position where he might actually overshadow the new President.’
      • ‘Heroes are all well and good, but only when they're already dead, and you don't have to deal with them overshadowing you.’
      • ‘I can't be on same stage with him because he overshadows me.’
      • ‘I believe that a good film is always the result of team work where each one has a part to play and no one overshadows anyone.’
      • ‘Olumer personally thought that Cadona, or Destiny, didn't want the Kings and Queens overshadowing her, but of course he didn't say that.’
      outshine, eclipse, put in the shade, surpass, exceed, excel, be superior to, outclass, outstrip, outdo, top, cap, trump, transcend, tower above, tower over, dwarf, upstage, shame, put to shame, outdistance, lead
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Old English ofersceadwian (see over-, shadow).