When a source of light is blocked by a solid object, the result is a shadow. Shadows can be created inside or outside.

  • The cat can see the shadow in front of him. Behind him is the sun. Together, the sun and the cat’s body create the shadow.


  • Venetian blinds cast shadows on this guitar.
  • A shadowy figure emerged from behind the dresser.
shadowy figure
  • This narrow passageway remains in shadow almost the entire day.

The word "shadow" can also be used as a verb. In this case, it means to follow someone and learn through observation:

  • Our newest employee, Edgar, is going to shadow some of the older employees to learn how the machines are operated.
  • Do you mind if I shadow you for a few days to learn how to teach these classes?
  • The police have been shadowing a suspected terrorist living in New York City.

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This page was first published on October 5, 2012. It was updated on April 19, 2015.