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1. the dark portions of a picture
2. Med a dark area on an X-ray film representing an opaque structure or part
3. (in Jungian psychology) the archetype that represents man's animal ancestors
4. Brit designating a member or members of the main opposition party in Parliament who would hold ministerial office if their party were in power
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


A region of darkness caused by the presence of an opaque object interposed between such a region and a source of light. A shadow can be totally dark only in that part called the umbra, in which all parts of the source are screened off. With a point source, the entire shadow consists of an umbra, since there can be no region in which only part of the source is eclipsed. If the source has an appreciable extent, however, there exists a transition surrounding the umbra, called the penumbra, which is illuminated by only part of the source. Depending on what fraction of the source is exposed, the illumination in the penumbra varies from zero at the edge of the full shadow to the maximum where the entire source is exposed. The edge of the umbra is not perfectly sharp, even with an ideal point source, because of the wave character of light. See Diffraction

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Physics. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

What does it mean when you dream about a shadow?

A shadow may represent the hidden aspects of the self. The dreamer often does not accept these parts of his or her personality and they are projected upon others until the dreamer can accept them and incorporate them into his or her psyche.

What does it mean when you dream about a shadow?

In psychology, the shadow refers to the personality traits and tendencies that one has rejected in developing one’s self-image. One of the most influential formulations of the shadow was put forward by the famous Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung. In Jung’s personality theory, the ego represents the individual’s sense of personal self. This sense of personal identity is purchased at the expense of certain tendencies (e.g., socially undesirable traits), however, which are rejected as “not-self.” According to Jung, these rejected traits come together as a kind of unconscious “counterego” that he termed the shadow.

Although suppressed from conscious awareness, the shadow continues to influence our behavior in powerful ways. In particular, we may become unduly anxious or irritated when in an environment or around a person that in some way reminds us of repressed aspects of our self. If a person has rejected his or her own sexual drive, for example, that person may feel irrational fear or anger around an overtly sexual individual. The shadow may appear as a person in one’s dreams, usually as an individual of the same sex. In Jungian therapy, the shadow is viewed as a potential source of characteristics to be integrated into the subject’s ego structure.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


A region of darkness caused by the presence of an opaque object interposed between such a region and a source of light.
A region which some type of radiation, such as sound or x-rays, does not reach because of the presence of an object, which the radiation cannot penetrate, interposed between the region and the source of radiation.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


A syntax-directed compiler written by Barnett and Futrelle in 1962. It was the predecessor to SNOBOL(?)

[Sammet 1969, p. 448, 605].
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