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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 ?
Exhibiting new SF (Servo-Form) roll-fed pressure former series with a 30 x 30 in.
Also showing HD-300 4 x 4 ft single-station former.
The new Millennium series single-station pressure former will debut from Maac Machinery Corp.
Maac will also introduce the ASP (automatic, single-station, pneumatic) former with catalytic gas heaters.
will show its new SDF 44 GP single-station vacuum former with gas catalytic heaters, designed for products such as truck-bed liners.
is showing a 3 x 5 ft, shuttle-type pressure former.
The former chairman left the board when he retired in 1994.
Holiday, 43, attorney, former Assistant to the President of the U.
Cruikshank, 65, former senior partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP; Ezra G.
Galef, 63, former chairman, and president, The Spectrum Group; William S.
Former CEOs, serving for a prescribed period, count as insiders.
Gillett, former chairman, Old Kent Financial; James A.
Schaefer, 66, former chairman and CEO, Caterpillar; James P.
Price II, 64, chairman, Mercantile Bank of Kansas City, and former U.
Lucy Wilson Benson, 67, president, Benson and Associates, and former Undersecretary of State; John C.