a shadow of (one's) former self

(redirected from shadow of its former self)

a shadow of (one's) former self

Someone or 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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

shadow of one's (former/old) self, a

Reduced or diminished, in vigor or size by age, illness, or fatigue, or in wealth or power. This term was a hyperbole for being emaciated as long ago as the sixteenth century. Later it was used for other kinds of reduced circumstances, as by Sir Walter Scott in Guy Mannering (1815): “He appeared to wither into the shadow of himself.”
See also: of, shadow
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
See also:
References in classic literature ?
Wickfield's room, which was the shadow of its former self - having been divested of a variety of conveniences, for the accommodation of the new partner - and stood before the fire, warming his back, and shaving his chin with his bony hand, while Mr.
While Leeds United might be only a shadow of its former self, the city has beat off competition from Birmingham and Manchester to be home of the new Channel 4 headquarters.
Addressing the workers, Sakhi Khan said the dignity and morale of workers was on the decline as 30 years of austerity and anti-labour practices in the Pakistan Railways had left the once vibrant and dynamic institution a shadow of its former self. He said Railways Minister Saad Rafique had been quoted as saying that the era of attempted-privatisation had ended.
Whitley Bay is lucky enough to have two signature features (the other one is the lighthouse.) But the dome has been a sad shadow of its former self for far too long.
The NHS is a shambles a shadow of its former self, and Britain is a poorer place.
THE NWCFA Senior Challenge Cup is not the only competition which is currently a shadow of its former self.
And there were much sorrow when The George Hotel finally shut its doors earlier this year, a sorry shadow of its former self.
The NHS is a disgracefully run shadow of its former self. - Maureen Osborne, Chopwell, Co Durham THE report highlighting failings at Stafford Hospital reveals institutionalised failure in the whole management and administration.
Our Captain Cook Museum is now a shadow of its former self. Cook must be honoured and his legacy must be available for the public to see.
As I walked my dogs on the banks of the Clyde yesterday, men were making their way to work at the Scotstoun and Govan yards a little up river, preserving the trade he helped make flourish - even if it is a shadow of its former self.
But USAID is a shadow of its former self and mostly hires contractors to do the work.
The treasured Food Hall is a shadow of its former self as the banger ban proves.
The North East fishing industry is but a shadow of its former self.
Today, the Aral Sea is only a shadow of its former self, but regional efforts to modify the lake remain underway.
The November cover story ("Confession: A shadow of its former self?) by Renee M.