1. An area that is not or is only partially irradiated or illuminated because of the interception of radiation by an opaque object between the area and the source of radiation. 2. The rough image cast by an object blocking rays of illumination. See Synonyms at shade. 3. An imperfect imitation or copy. 4. shadows The darkness following sunset. 5. A feeling or cause of gloom or unhappiness: The argument cast a shadow on their friendship. 6. a. A nearby or adjoining region; vicinity: grew up in the shadow of the ballpark. b. A dominating presence or influence: spent years working in the shadow of the lab director. 7. a. A darkened area of skin under the eye. Often used in the plural. b. An incipient growth of beard that makes the skin look darker. 8. A shaded area in a picture or photograph. 9. A mirrored image or reflection. 10. A phantom; a ghost. 11. a. One, such as a detective or spy, that follows or trails another. b. A constant companion. c. Sports A player who guards an opponent closely. 12. A faint indication; a foreshadowing. 13. A vestige or inferior form: shadows of their past achievements. 14. An insignificant portion or amount; a trace: beyond a shadow of a doubt. 15. Shelter; protection: under the shadow of their corporate sponsor.