see also: Shade
Pronunciation Noun


  1. (uncountable) Darkness where light, particularly sunlight, is blocked.
    The old oak tree gave shade in the heat of the day.
  2. (countable) Something that blocks light, particularly in a window.
    Close the shade, please: it's too bright in here.
  3. (countable) 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.
    • 1689 (indicated as 1690), [John Locke], An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding. […], London: […] Thomas Basset, […], OCLC 153628242 ↗:
      Thus light and colours, as white, red, yellow, blue, with their several degrees or shades, and mixtures, as green, scarlet, purple, sea-green, and the rest, come in only by the eyes […]
  4. (figuratively) A subtle variation in a concept.
    shades of meaning
    • new shades and combinations of thought
    • 18, Thomas Babington Macaulay, chapter 3, in The History of England from the Accession of James the Second, volume (please specify ), London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, OCLC 1069526323 ↗:
  5. (figuratively) An aspect that is reminiscent of something.
    shades of Groucho
  6. A very small degree of a quantity, or variety of meaning
    • , Agatha Christie, Miss Marple Tells a Story
      Mrs. Rhodes who (so I gathered from Mr. Petherick's careful language) was perhaps just a shade of a hypochondriac, had retired to bed immediately after dinner.
  7. (chiefly, literary and fantasy) A ghost or specter; a spirit.
    Too long have I been haunted by that shade.
    The adventurer was attacked by a shade.
    • Swift as thought the flitting shade / Thro' air his momentary journey made.
  8. (countable) A postage stamp showing an obvious difference in colour/color to the original printing and needing a separate catalogue/catalog entry.
  9. (uncountable, originally, gay slang) Subtle insults.
    throw shade
    Why did you paint your room chartreuse? No shade; I'm genuinely curious.
    • 1990, Paris Is Burning:
      Dorian Corey: Shade is: "I don't tell you you're ugly, but I don't have to tell you because you know you're ugly." And that's shade.
Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Verb

shade (shades, present participle shading; past and past participle shaded)

  1. (transitive) To shield from light.
    The old oak tree shaded the lawn in the heat of the day.
  2. (transitive) 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. (intransitive) To vary or approach something slightly, particularly in color.
    The hillside was bright green, shading towards gold in the drier areas.
    • This small group will be most conveniently treated with the emotional division, into which it shades.
  4. (intransitive, baseball, of a defensive player) To move slightly from one's normal fielding position.
    Jones will shade a little to the right on this pitch count.
  5. (transitive) To darken, particularly in drawing.
    I draw contours first, gradually shading in midtones and shadows.
  6. To surpass by a narrow margin.
    Both parties claimed afterwards that their man did best in the debate, but an early opinion poll suggested Mr Cameron shaded it.
  7. (transitive, GUI) To reduce (a window) so that only its title bar is visible.
    Antonyms: unshade
  8. (transitive, obsolete) To shelter; to cover from injury; to protect; to screen.
    • c. 1608–1609, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Coriolanus”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act II, scene i]:
      Ere in our own house I do shade my head.
  9. (transitive, obsolete) To present a shadow or image of; to shadow forth; to represent.
    • [The goddess] in her person cunningly did shade / That part of Justice which is Equity.
Translations Translations
  • Spanish: matizar
  • French: tendre vers
  • Russian: переходи́ть
Translations Related terms
Proper noun
  1. Surname

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