former


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a shadow of (one's) former self

Someone of something that has changed dramatically to become decreased in vivacity in some way, often following negative circumstances or some traumatic event. Ever since Tim was in that accident, he's been a shadow of his former self. She's so quiet now, like a shadow of her former self. Does anyone know what happened to the bubbly girl we once knew? Many of the town's residents moved away, leaving it a shadow of its former self.
See also: former, of, shadow

be a shadow of (someone or something's) former self

To be weaker or inferior in comparison to how someone or something was previously, often due to negative circumstances. After suffering from a prolonged illness, Sharon was a shadow of her former self. This town is a shadow of its former self after so many of its residents have moved away.
See also: former, of, shadow

be a ghost of (someone or something's) former self

To be weaker or inferior in comparison to how someone or something was previously, often due to negative circumstances. After suffering from a prolonged illness, Sharon was a ghost of her former self. This town is a ghost of its former self after so many of its residents have moved away.
See also: former, ghost, of

*shadow of oneself

 and *a shadow of itself; *a shadow of one's former self
Fig. someone or something that is not as strong, healthy, full, or lively as before. (*Typically: be ~; become ~.) The sick man was a shadow of his former self. The abandoned mansion was merely a shadow of its old self.
See also: of, shadow

shadow of one's self

Also, shadow of one's former or old self . A person, group, or thing that has become weaker in physical or mental capacities or in power or authority. For example, After that long battle with the flu, he was just a shadow of his old self, or This new administration is but a shadow of itself, or The revised constitution is a shadow of its former self. The use of shadow for an emaciated person dates from the late 1500s, and by about 1800 the word began to be used for other kinds of attenuation.
See also: of, shadow

a shadow of your former self

FORMAL
COMMON
1. If someone or something is a shadow of their former self, they are very much less powerful or impressive than they used to be. Our ninety-year-old dad was but a shadow of his former self. But the side which played such thrilling football last season now looks a shadow of its former self.
2. If someone is a shadow of their former self, they are very much thinner than they used to be. I couldn't believe how much weight she'd lost — she's a shadow of her former self.
See also: former, of, shadow

be a shadow/ghost of your/its former ˈself

not have the strength, influence, etc. that you/something used to have: He’d been ill for some time, and he looked a shadow of his former self.The old house, which had once been so full of life, was now just a ghost of its former self.
See also: former, ghost, of, shadow
References in periodicals archive ?
The Executive Board accorded approval for conducting two separate investigations against former Provincial Minister Abdul Rauf Siddiqui, Mohammad Adil Siddiqui and Dr.
The nab also authorized an inquiry against former MPA from Peshawar Tamash Khan and Balochistan minister health Rehmat Baloch in a case of possessing assets beyond the known source of income.
DOTr alleged that Roxas and Abaya, in conspiracy with other Cabinet members and former Transportation officials, amassed wealth from questionable maintenance contracts for the MRT-3.
Annabel Goldie DL MSP - Conservative Member of the Scottish Parliament; former Leader of the Scottish Conservatives
Two other OSP veterans toil in the six-person directorate: John Trigilio, a former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst, and Ladan Archin, a former graduate student of Paul Wolfowitz.
In January 2005,10 former WorldCom directors agreed to pay $18 million as part of a $54 million settlement with lead plaintiff N.
He embraced the philosophy that you work with the community, not for it," said Councilman Bernard Parks, also a former police chief.
A is the surviving entity and a subsidiary of E The former A shareholders receive F stock in exchange for their A stock, and A continues to hold some F stock.
Morin also circulated a petition asking that the Anglican chapel on the site--which is near the former residence building--be preserved.
BOBBY MURCER, former major league outfielder, on trying to hit Phil Niekro's infamous knuckleball: "It's like trying to eat Jell-O with chopsticks.
The IRS then argued that taxing the former spouse would violate the assignment-of-income doctrine.
El Salvador's former president, Francisco Flores, put the reform process into context by focusing on concerns about maintaining an open dialogue.
Alan Romberg, Stimson Center, former State Department spokesman