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a shadow of (one's) former self

A person whose personality has changed dramatically to become decreased in vivacity in some way, often following 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?
See also: former, of, shadow

shadow of (one's) former self

Someone or something that is now weaker or inferior than previously, often due to negative circumstances. After suffering from a prolonged illness, Sharon was a shadow of her former self. Many of the town's residents moved away, leaving it a shadow of its former self.
See also: former, of, shadow

*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

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 ?
These strides, coupled with the explosion of Internet users, means FFA now has the tools to reconnect and maintain a relationship with former members.
Present and former civil detainees in state correctional centers brought an action against psychologists who had recommended their confinement as "sexually violent persons' under Illinois' Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act (SVPCA).
Perhaps your goal is not only to change companies, but to return to the "good ole days" at a former employer.
Roisman, a former partner at the Manhattan office of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP, and Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, LLP, has joined RDP as general counsel and executive vice president.
corporations, former senior government officials, and Suharto cronies have also played a role.
Next, it examines two court decisions involving the use of release agreements to determine the scope of protection such agreements afford former employers who disclose personnel information to a law enforcement organization.
When engaging a former employee as an independent contractor, the company should be aware that the "safe harbor" protections of section 530 of the Revenue Act of 1978 will seldom be available to the company.
In conjunction with the above accord, the Eastern Air Lines Estate has also proposed a compromise and settlement of all remaining administrative, priority and general unsecured claims of eligible former salaried employees.
More than half the former prisoners with PTSD displayed other anxiety disorders such as panic attacks, and six experienced severe depression.
Inadequate support, in turn, has made it harder for former mental patients to gain acceptance in the community.
Hamilton, former Member of Congress and Chair of the House Intelligence and Foreign Relations Committees
attorney partnership in Los Angeles resulted in federal indictments naming the former chief of Fleishman-Hillard's L.
MIKE GOTTFRIED, former Kansas coach and current ESPN college football analyst, on learning that the odds against the Jayhawks winning the Big Eight title are 100 to 1: "Who's the one guy who thinks we can do it?
Kerry has also installed John Sasso, former campaign manager for Michael Dukakis's 1988 bid at the Democratic National Committee as chairman Terry McAuliffe's deputy and likely successor.
Porter Goss--Former Director of CIA, Former Chairman of House Intelligence Committee