- 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.
- Darkness; obscurity; -- often in the plural."The shades of night were falling fast." [Longfellow.]
- 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." [Shak.]
- 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." [Shak.]"Let the arched knife well sharpened now assail the spreading shades of vegetables." [J. Philips.]
- Shadow.(Poetic)"Envy will merit, as its shade, pursue." [Pope.]
- 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." [Dryden.]
- [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." [Locke.]
- 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." [Macaulay.]
Note: ☞ 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.
Etymology: 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