Shade (shAd), n. [OE. shade, shadewe, schadewe, AS. sceadu, scead; akin to OS. skado, D. schaduw, OHG. scato, (gen. scatewes), G. schatten, Goth. skadus, Ir. & Gael. sgath, and probably to Gr. sko`tos darkness. √162. Cf. Shadow, Shed a hat.]


Comparative obscurity owing to interception or interruption of the rays of light; partial darkness caused by the intervention of something between the space contemplated and the source of light.

Shade differs from shadow as it implies no particular form or definite limit; whereas a shadow represents in form the object which intercepts the light. When we speak of the shade of a tree, we have no reference to its form; but when we speak of measuring a pyramid or other object by its shadow, we have reference to its form and extent.


Darkness; obscurity; -- often in the plural.

The shades of night were falling fast.


An obscure place; a spot not exposed to light; hence, a secluded retreat.

Let us seek out some desolate shade, and there
Weep our sad bosoms empty.


That which intercepts, or shelters from, light or the direct rays of the sun; hence, also, that which protects from heat or currents of air; a screen; protection; shelter; cover; as, a lamp shade.

The Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.
Ps. cxxi. 5.

Sleep under a fresh tree's shade.

Let the arched knife well sharpened now assail the spreading shades of vegetables.
J. Philips.


Shadow. [Poetic.]

Envy will merit, as its shade, pursue.


The soul after its separation from the body; -- so called because the ancients it to be perceptible to the sight, though not to the touch; a spirit; a ghost; as, the shades of departed heroes.

Swift as thought the flitting shade
Thro' air his momentary journey made.

7. (Painting, Drawing, etc.)

The darker portion of a picture; a less illuminated part. See Def. 1, above.


Degree or variation of color, as darker or lighter, stronger or paler; as, a delicate shade of pink.

White, red, yellow, blue, with their several degrees, or shades and mixtures, as green only in by the eyes.


A minute difference or variation, as of thought, belief, expression, etc.; also, the quality or degree of anything which is distinguished from others similar by slight differences; as, the shades of meaning in synonyms.

New shades and combinations of thought.
De Quincey.

Every shade of religious and political opinion has its own headquarters.

The Shades, the Nether World; the supposed abode of souls after leaving the body.


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Shade (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Shaded; p. pr. & vb. n. Shading.]


To shelter or screen by intercepting the rays of light; to keep off illumination from. Milton.

I went to crop the sylvan scenes,
And shade our altars with their leafy greens.


To shelter; to cover from injury; to protect; to screen; to hide; as, to shade one's eyes.

Ere in our own house I do shade my head.


To obscure; to dim the brightness of.

Thou shad'st
The full blaze of thy beams.


To pain in obscure colors; to darken.


To mark with gradations of light or color.


To present a shadow or image of; to shadow forth; to represent. [Obs.]

[The goddess] in her person cunningly did shade
That part of Justice which is Equity.


© Webster 1913

Shade (?), v. i. [See Shade, n.]

To undergo or exhibit minute difference or variation, as of color, meaning, expression, etc.; to pass by slight changes; -- used chiefly with a preposition, as into, away, off.

This small group will be most conveniently treated with the emotional division, into which it shades.
Edmund Gurney.


© Webster 1913