Etymology
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shade (n.)

Middle English shade, schade, Kentish ssed, "dark image cast by someone or something; comparative obscurity or gloom caused by the blockage of light," from late Old English scead "partial darkness; shelter, protection," also partly from sceadu "shade, shadow, darkness; shady place, arbor, protection from glare or heat." Both are from Proto-Germanic *skadwaz (source also of Old Saxon skado, Middle Dutch scade, Dutch schaduw, Old High German scato, German Schatten, Gothic skadus), from PIE *skot-wo-, from root *skoto- "dark, shade." 

shade, shadow, nn. It seems that the difference in form is fairly to be called an accidental one, the first representing the nominative & the second the oblique cases of the same word. The meanings are as closely parallel or intertwined as might be expected from this original identity, the wonder being that, with a differentiation so vague, each form should have maintained its existence by the side of the other. [Fowler]

Figurative use in reference to comparative obscurity is from 1640s. Hence throw into the shade, etc., "obscure by contrast or superior brilliancy." The meaning "a ghost" is from 1610s; dramatic (or mock-dramatic) expression shades of _____ to invoke or acknowledge a memory is from 1818, from the "ghost" sense. Meaning "lamp cover" is from 1780. Sense of "window blind" is recorded by 1845. The meaning "cover to protect the eyes" is from 1801. Meaning "grade of color" is recorded from 1680s; that of "degree or gradation of darkness in a color" is from 1680s (compare nuance, from French nue "cloud"). Meaning "small amount or degree" is from 1749.

shade (v.)

c. 1400, shaden, "to screen from the sun or its heat," from shade (n.). From 1520s as "to cast a shadow over;" the figurative use in this sense is from 1580s. The meaning in painting and drawing is from 1797. In reference to colors, 1819. Related: Shaded; shading.

updated on July 21, 2022

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Definitions of shade from WordNet
1
shade (n.)
relative darkness caused by light rays being intercepted by an opaque body;
it is much cooler in the shade
Synonyms: shadiness / shadowiness
shade (n.)
a quality of a given color that differs slightly from another color;
after several trials he mixed the shade of pink that she wanted
Synonyms: tint / tincture / tone
shade (n.)
protective covering that protects something from direct sunlight;
they used umbrellas as shades
as the sun moved he readjusted the shade
shade (n.)
a subtle difference in meaning or opinion or attitude;
don't argue about shades of meaning
Synonyms: nuance / nicety / subtlety / refinement
shade (n.)
a position of relative inferiority;
his brother's success left him in the shade
an achievement that puts everything else in the shade
shade (n.)
a slight amount or degree of difference;
the new model is a shade better than the old one
Synonyms: tad
shade (n.)
a mental representation of some haunting experience;
Synonyms: ghost / spook / wraith / specter / spectre
shade (n.)
a representation of the effect of shadows in a picture or drawing (as by shading or darker pigment);
shade (n.)
a protective ornamental covering for a lamp, used to screen a light bulb from direct view;
Synonyms: lampshade / lamp shade
2
shade (v.)
cast a shadow over;
Synonyms: shadow / shade off
shade (v.)
represent the effect of shade or shadow on;
Synonyms: fill in
shade (v.)
protect from light, heat, or view;
shade (v.)
vary slightly;
shade the meaning
shade (v.)
pass from one quality such as color to another by a slight degree;
the butterfly wings shade to yellow
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.