AskDefine | Define shade

Dictionary Definition



1 relative darkness caused by light rays being intercepted by an opaque body; "it is much cooler in the shade"; "there's too much shadiness to take good photographs" [syn: shadiness, shadowiness]
2 a quality of a given color that differs slightly from a primary color; "after several trials he mixed the shade of pink that she wanted" [syn: tint, tincture, tone]
3 protective covering that protects something from direct sunlight; "they used umbrellas as shades"; "as the sun moved he readjusted the shade"
4 a subtle difference in meaning or opinion or attitude; "without understanding the finer nuances you can't enjoy the humor"; "don't argue about shades of meaning" [syn: nuance, nicety, subtlety, refinement]
5 a position of relative inferiority; "an achievement that puts everything else in the shade"; "his brother's success left him in the shade"
6 a slight amount or degree of difference; "a tad too expensive"; "not a tad of difference"; "the new model is a shade better than the old one" [syn: tad]
7 a mental representation of some haunting experience; "he looked like he had seen a ghost"; "it aroused specters from his past" [syn: ghost, spook, wraith, specter, spectre]
8 a representation of the effect of shade in a picture or drawing (as by shading or darker pigment)


1 cast a shadow over [syn: shadow, shade off]
2 represent the effect of shade or shadow on [syn: fill in]
3 protect from light, heat, or view; "Shade your eyes when you step out into the bright sunlight"

User Contributed Dictionary


Etymology 1

Old English sceadu


  • /ʃeɪd/
  • Rhymes with: -eɪd


  1. Darkness where light, particularly sunlight, is blocked.
    The old oak tree gave shade in the heat of the day.
  2. Something that blocks light, particularly in a window.
    Close the shade, please, it's too bright in here.
  3. A variety of a colour/color, in particular one obtained by adding black (compare tint).
    I've painted my room in five lovely shades of pink and chartreuse.
  4. A subtle variation in a concept.
    shades of meaning
  5. A ghost.
    Too long have I been haunted by that shade.
  6. A creature that is partially human and partially angel.
    He was attacked by a Shade.
  7. A postage stamp showing an obvious difference in colour/color to the original printing and needing a separate catalogue/catalog entry.
darkness where light is blocked
  • Albanian: hije
  • Catalan: ombra
  • Croatian: sjena
  • Dutch: schaduw
  • Esperanto: ombro
  • Finnish: varjo
  • French: ombre
  • German: Schatten
  • Greek: σκιά (skiá)
  • Hungarian: árnyék
  • Italian: ombra
  • Japanese: (, kage)
  • Kurdish:
    Sorani: سێبه‌ر
  • Old English: sceadu
  • Polish: cień
  • Portuguese: sombra
  • Romanian: umbră
  • Russian: тень
  • Slovak: tien
  • Telugu: నీడ (neeDa)
something that blocks light, particularly in a window
variety of color
subtle variation in a concept
archaic: a ghost
  • French: esprit, ombre
  • Portuguese: espectro, sombra

Etymology 2

Old English sceadwian


  1. To shield from light.
    The old oak tree shaded the lawn in the heat of the day.
  2. To alter slightly.
    You'll need to shade your shot slightly to the left.
    Most politicians will shade the truth if it helps them.
  3. To vary slightly, particularly in color.
    The hillside was bright green, shading towards gold in the drier areas.
  4. When a defensive player moves slightly from his normal fielding position.
    Jones will shade a little to the right on this pitch count.
to shield from light
to alter slightly
to vary slightly, particularly in color


Extensive Definition

Shade is the blocking of sunlight (in particular direct sunshine) by any object, and also the shadow created by that object. It may refer to blocking of sunlight by a roof, a tree, an umbrella, a window shade or blind, curtains, or other objects.
Shade is an important issue in temperate and tropical zones for providing cooling and shelter from the sun. Providing certain configurations of shading is an important passive solar technique. This may be done with overhangs, with shade trees, or with vines. Vines particularly suited for this purpose include Boston ivy, Virginia creeper, and morning glory.
Shading using non-living materials blocks the sun, but also results in sunlight being absorbed and re-radiated as heat, or in sunlight being reflected as glare. Green plants, on the other hand, not only absorb a significant portion of the sunlight to invest as energy in photosynthesis to produce sugar, but also actively transpire, producing an additional cooling effect.
In gardening terms, there are various types of shade:
  • Full sun - more than five hours of direct sun per day.
  • Part shade - two to five hours of direct sun, or all-day dappled sun (sunlight shining through open trees).
  • Full shade - less than two hours of direct sun per day.
shade in French: Ombre (lumière)
shade in Simple English: Shade

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Masan, achromatism, adumbration, air, amount, anima, anima humana, apparition, appearance, apply paint, astral, astral spirit, atman, atom, awning, ba, baldacchino, baldachin, banshee, beat, becloud, bedarken, bedaub, bedim, bedizen, befog, begild, begloom, belvedere, bemist, besmear, besmirch, best, better, bit, black, black out, blacken, blackness, blackwash, blanket, blind, block the light, blot, blot out, blotch, bogey, breath, breath of life, brown, brush on paint, buddhi, calcimine, caliber, camouflage, canopy, cartoon, cast, cast a shadow, chalk, charcoal, chromatism, chromism, clabber up, cloak, cloud, cloud over, cloud up, coat, color, color balance, color harmony, color scheme, coloration, coloring, compass, complexion, conceal, control, copy, cork, cover, cover up, covering, crayon, crosshatch, curtain, cut, dab, dark shade, darken, darken over, darkness, dash, dash off, daub, decorator color, deep-dye, defense, degree, delineate, denigrate, departed spirit, depict, descant, design, diagram, diapason, difference, dim, dim out, dimness, dinge, dip, disembodied spirit, disguise, dissemble, distemper, distinction, distract attention from, divine breath, doodle, double-dye, draft, draw, draw the curtains, duppy, dusk, duskiness, dybbuk, dye, ebonize, eclipse, ego, eidolon, emblazon, enamel, encloud, encompass with shadow, engild, enmist, ensconce, enshroud, envelop, exceed, extent, eye, face, fantasy, fast-dye, figure, fog, form, fraction, fresco, gazebo, ghost, gild, glaze, gleam, gloom, gloominess, gloss, gloss over, grade, grain, grateful dead, guard, guide, hair, hant, hat, hatch, haunt, haze, heart, height, hide, hint, hue, humor, idea, idolum, illuminate, image, imbue, immateriality, incorporeal, incorporeal being, incorporeity, infusion, ingrain, ink, inkling, inner man, intensity, interval, intimation, iota, jalousie, japan, jiva, jivatma, jot, keep under cover, key, khu, lacquer, lamp shade, larva, lay, lay on color, leap, lee, lemures, level, lick, limn, look, manes, mark, mask, materialization, measure, melanize, melodia, mere shadow, mind, mist, modicum, murk, murkiness, natural color, nephesh, nigrify, notch, nuance, nubilate, obfuscate, obnubilate, obscuration, obscure, obscurity, obumbrate, occult, occultate, oni, opaque, outclass, outdo, outperform, outplay, outshine, outstrip, overcast, overcloud, overshadow, oversmoke, overtone, paint, paint a picture, pallor, parasol, parget, pas, peg, pencil, penumbra, period, phantasm, phantasma, phantasmagoria, phantom, picture, picturize, pigment, pitch, pith helmet, plane, plateau, pneuma, point, poltergeist, portray, presence, preservation, prime, proportion, protect, protection, protective custody, psyche, purusha, put to shame, range, ratio, reach, refuge, remove, revenant, roof, round, ruach, rung, safekeeping, safety, saturation, sauce, scale, scintilla, scope, scratch, screen, scumble, seasoning, shade tree, shades, shadiness, shadow, shadows numberless, shape, shellac, shelter, shield, show up, shroud, shrouded spirit, shutter, silhouette, sip, sketch, skiagram, skiagraph, skin color, slop on paint, slur over, smack, smattering, smear, smell, smidgen, smidgin, smirch, smog, smoke, smudge, smut, smutch, somber, soot, soul, soupcon, space, spark, speck, specter, spectral ghost, spice, spirit, spiritual being, spiritus, spook, sprinkling, sprite, stain, stair, standard, stencil, step, stint, stipple, streak, suggestion, summerhouse, sun hat, sun helmet, sunbonnet, sunshade, sup, surpass, suspicion, taint, taste, temper, tempering, tent, the self, theophany, thought, tinct, tincture, tinge, tint, tittle, tone, topee, touch, trace, tread, tune, umbra, umbrage, umbrageousness, umbrella, undercoat, undercolor, undertone, unsubstantiality, variation, variety, varnish, veil, vein, venetian blind, vestige, vision, visor, waking dream, walking dead man, wandering soul, warble, wash, watchful eye, whitewash, wildest dream, window curtain, window screen, window shade, wraith, zombie
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