General English

General Science


  • The degree to which a color is mixed with black to decrease illumination, or darken it.

Information & Library Science

  • noun a variation in the colour or black and white texture of printing produced by adding black
  • verb to colour in a section of a drawing by adding a darker colour or a textured pattern


  • noun a receiver of stolen goods, fence. The word, an item of slang from the police and underworld lexicon, in use since the 1920s may be derived from ‘shady’ (dealing).


  • noun a dark area which is not in the sunlight

Origin & History of “shade”

Shade and shadow (12th c.) are ultimately the same word. both originated in Old English sceadu. Shade is the direct descendant of this, whereas shadow comes from its inflected form sceaduwe. Sceadu itself went back via prehistoric Germanic *skathwō (source also of German schatten and Dutch schaduw) to Indo-European *skotwā́ (whence also Greek skótos ‘darkness’ and Welsh cysgod ‘shade’). Shed ‘hut’ probably originated as a variant of shade.