shadow

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cast a shadow over (something)

To dampen, spoil, or ruin something that was hitherto good or positive. The boy's broken finger cast a shadow over his birthday party. This scandal will undoubtedly cast a shadow over her otherwise impeccable career.
See also: cast, shadow

cast a shadow over (some place)

To fill a place with sadness, grief, dread, or any strong negative emotion. The child's sudden death cast a dark shadow over the house. The dictator's ascension to power has cast a shadow over the country.
See also: cast, shadow

frightened of (one's) (own) shadow

Easily or constantly spooked, nervous, timid, afraid, or fearfully suspicious. I can't say I have much faith in Johnny helping us on this expedition—that boy's frightened of his own shadow! You can't live life frightened of your shadow—you need to get out into the world and taste adventure!
See also: frighten, of, shadow

take the shadow for the substance

dated To accept something false, deceitful, shallow, or insubstantial in place of something true, meaningful, or valuable. (Said especially in religious lectures or sermons about shunning or being led away from faith or the dictates of the church.) In today's modern, materialistic world, it is all too easy to take the shadow for the substance.
See also: shadow, substance, take

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

old sins cast long shadows

Old indiscretions can continue to have consequences well into the future. A: "I know I made a mistake, but that happened years ago! Why are we still talking about it?" B: "Because old sins cast long shadows."
See also: cast, long, old, shadow, sin

old sins have long shadows

Old indiscretions can continue to have consequences well into the future. A: "I know I made a mistake, but that happened years ago! Why are we still talking about it?" B: "Because old sins have long shadows."
See also: have, long, old, shadow, sin

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

valley of the shadow of death

A grim place where death is or seems imminent. This Biblical phrase comes from Psalm 23. Walking through that old, bombed-out neigborhood, Sam felt like he was in the valley of the shadow of death. I would never be able to march into the valley of the shadow of death like soldiers do.
See also: death, of, shadow, valley

wrangle for an ass's shadow

To argue over trivial matters. The phrase derives from a Greek legend in which a traveler rents an ass and then squabbles with its owner when they both want to sit in the ass's shadow to avoid the sun. Primarily heard in UK. There's no correct way to hang Christmas lights, so quit wrangling for an ass's shadow and decorate the house already!
See also: shadow, wrangle

be afraid of (one's) (own) shadow

To be easily or constantly spooked, nervous, timid, afraid, or fearfully suspicious. I can't say I have much faith in Johnny helping us on this expedition—that boy's afraid of his own shadow! You can't live life being afraid of your shadow—you need to get out into the world and taste adventure!
See also: afraid, of, shadow

afraid of (one's) own shadow

Easily scared; jumpy; timid. Everyone was surprised that Janice led the meeting with confidence, as she normally seems afraid of her own shadow. Please don't take my sister to a haunted house on Halloween—she's afraid of her own shadow.
See also: afraid, of, own, shadow

afraid of one's own shadow

Fig. easily frightened; always frightened, timid, or suspicious. (An exaggeration.) After Tom was robbed, he was even afraid of his own shadow.
See also: afraid, of, own, shadow

Coming events cast their shadows before.

Prov. Significant events are often preceded by signs that they are about to happen. (From Thomas Campbell's poem, "Lochiel's Warning.") If you pay attention to the news, you can generally tell when something momentous is about to happen. Coming events cast their shadows before.
See also: before, cast, coming, event, 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

without a shadow of a doubt

 and beyond the shadow of a doubt
without the smallest amount of doubt. I am certain that I am right, without a shadow of a doubt. I felt the man was guilty beyond the shadow of a doubt.
See also: doubt, of, shadow, without

a shadow of your/its former self

a smaller, weaker, or less important form of someone or something With most of its best players traded away, the team was reduced to a shadow of its former self.
See also: former, of, shadow

beyond the shadow of a doubt

also without a shadow of a doubt
so that it is obviously true Letters in her father's own handwriting would prove his guilt beyond a shadow of a doubt.
See also: beyond, doubt, of, shadow

in the shadow of somebody

receiving little attention because someone else is better known or more skillful Tom was a good lawyer, but he was always in the shadow of his famous father.
Usage notes: often used after live: Living in the shadow of a glamorous sister, Hilda was quiet and shy.
See also: of, shadow

in the shadow of something

1. near something Her house is located in the shadow of the state capitol.
2. influenced by something bad that has happened or could happen The children of the survivors lived their lives in the shadow of the Holocaust. The organization is trying to protect civil rights in the shadow of terrorism.
See also: of, shadow

be afraid of your own shadow

to be extremely nervous and easily frightened She's always having panic attacks, she's the kind of person who's afraid of her own shadow.
See also: afraid, of, own, shadow

a shadow of your former self

if you are a shadow of your former self, you are less strong or less powerful than you were in the past He came back to work after 3 months, completely cured of the cancer but a shadow of his former self.
See also: former, of, shadow

beyond/without a shadow of a doubt

if something is true beyond a shadow of a doubt, there is no doubt that it is true This is without a shadow of a doubt the best film I have seen all year.
See also: beyond, doubt, of, shadow

in somebody's shadow

if you are in someone's shadow, you receive less attention and seem less important than them For most of his life he lived in the shadow of his more famous brother.
See also: shadow

in/under something's shadow

if you are in the shadow of an unpleasant event, you cannot forget that it has happened or might happen in the future The local population were living under the shadow of war.
See also: shadow

afraid of one's own shadow

Very timid and fearful, as in Richard constantly worries about security; he's afraid of his own shadow. This hyperbole has been used in English since the early 1500s, and some writers believe it originated in ancient Greece.
See also: afraid, of, own, shadow

beyond a doubt

Also, beyond the shadow of a doubt. Certainly so, undoubtedly so, as in Beyond a doubt this is the best view of the valley. This phrase, along with the earlier without doubt (dating from c. 1300), asserts the truth of some statement. W.S. Gilbert's version, in The Gondoliers (1889), is: "Of that there is no manner of doubt-no probable, possible shadow of doubt-no possible doubt whatever." In this context shadow means "a trace or slight suggestion." Another variant is beyond a reasonable doubt. This phrase is often used in court when the judge instructs the jury that they must be convinced of the accused's guilt or innocence beyond a reasonable doubt; reasonable here means "logical and rational." Also see beyond question; no doubt.
See also: beyond, doubt

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
References in periodicals archive ?
Chen found job shadowing helpful in gaining a realistic view of one possible law career.
Job shadowing helps students make professional contacts in a given career field.
Shadowing may yield other opportunities for learning, as well.
Some schools, including Muhlenberg College and Indiana University, offer formal job shadowing programs through their career centers.
Formal job shadowing programs often include the following steps:
A coordinator briefs students on job shadowing essentials and program requirements.
Those interested in providing a job shadowing location for students, or students who would like to job shadow, can call the School and Business Alliance at (661) 259-0033, Ext.
Job shadowing demonstrates the importance of academics in reaching college and career goals and motivates students to learn by demonstrating the tangible applications of classroom lessons.
Through the generosity of local employers who open their doors and share their expertise, job shadowing activities provide students with eye-opening experiences that can make a difference in determining their future.
The Rotary Club has enlisted about 50 businesses to participate in this year's Job Shadowing Day, including the Animal Clinic, Bloomies Florist, Wells Fargo Bank, Andel Engineering and U.
Created by four national groups, the day is designed to showcase the values of job shadowing and emphasizes career exploration.