a shadow of (oneself)

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a shadow of (oneself)

Someone or something that has changed dramatically to become decreased in vivacity in some way, often following negative circumstances or some traumatic event. Tom's been nothing but a shadow of himself since that accident, his bubbly, outgoing persona replaced by gloom and seriousness. The mass emigration of workers from the country during the recession has left it a mere shadow of itself.
See also: of, shadow
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
"I think we gave away like nine penalties, 10 turnovers, six of them handling errors, so we looked in the shadows of ourselves today and it was a pretty tired and flat team today."
the shadows of ourselves. O'Keeffe knows that we long for
Late capitalist society, Saramago suggests, is not so different from the cave; it is a place where reality has been obliterated by deceptive appearances, where we see only shadows of ourselves.