Shadow vs. Silhouette

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Shadow and Silhouette is that the Shadow is a area where direct light from a light source cannot reach due to obstruction by an object and Silhouette is a appearance and art form where only the outline of something is visible

  • Shadow

    A shadow is a dark area where light from a light source is blocked by an opaque object. It occupies all of the three-dimensional volume behind an object with light in front of it. The cross section of a shadow is a two-dimensional silhouette, or a reverse projection of the object blocking the light.

  • Silhouette

    A silhouette (English: SIL-oo-ET, French: [silwɛt]) is the image of a person, animal, object or scene represented as a solid shape of a single colour, usually black, with its edges matching the outline of the subject. The interior of a silhouette is featureless, and the silhouette is usually presented on a light background, usually white, or none at all. The silhouette differs from an outline, which depicts the edge of an object in a linear form, while a silhouette appears as a solid shape. Silhouette images may be created in any visual artistic media, but were first used to describe pieces of cut paper, which were then stuck to a backing in a contrasting colour, and often framed.

    Cutting portraits, generally in profile, from black card became popular in the mid-18th century, though the term silhouette was seldom used until the early decades of the 19th century, and the tradition has continued under this name into the 21st century. They represented a cheap but effective alternative to the portrait miniature, and skilled specialist artists could cut a high-quality bust portrait, by far the most common style, in a matter of minutes, working purely by eye. Other artists, especially from about 1790, drew an outline on paper, then painted it in, which could be equally quick.

    From its original graphic meaning, the term silhouette has been extended to describe the sight or representation of a person, object or scene that is backlit, and appears dark against a lighter background. Anything that appears this way, for example, a figure standing backlit in a doorway, may be described as “in silhouette”. Because a silhouette emphasises the outline, the word has also been used in the fields of fashion and fitness to describe the shape of a person’s body or the shape created by wearing clothing of a particular style or period.

  • Shadow (noun)

    A dark image projected onto a surface where light (or other radiation) is blocked by the shade of an object.

    “My shadow lengthened as the sun began to set.”

    “The X-ray showed a shadow on his lung.”

  • Shadow (noun)

    Relative darkness, especially as caused by the interruption of light; gloom, obscurity.

    “I immediately jumped into shadow as I saw them approach.”

  • Shadow (noun)

    A reflected image, as in a mirror or in water.

  • Shadow (noun)

    That which looms as though a shadow.

    “I don’t have a shadow of doubt in my mind that my plan will succeed. The shadow of fear of my being outed always affects how I live my life. I lived in her shadow my whole life.”

  • Shadow (noun)

    A small degree; a shade.

    “He did not give even a shadow of respect to the professor.”

  • Shadow (noun)

    An imperfect and faint representation.

    “He came back from war the shadow of a man.”

    “the neopagan ritual was only a pale shadow of the ones the Greeks held thousands of years ago”

  • Shadow (noun)

    A trainee, assigned to work with an experienced officer.

  • Shadow (noun)

    One who secretly or furtively follows another.

    “The constable was promoted to working as a shadow for the Royals.”

  • Shadow (noun)

    A type of lettering form of word processors that makes a cubic effect.

  • Shadow (noun)

    An influence, especially a pervasive or a negative one.

  • Shadow (noun)

    A spirit; a ghost; a shade.

  • Shadow (noun)

    An uninvited guest accompanying one who was invited.

  • Shadow (noun)

    In Jungian psychology, an unconscious aspect of the personality.

  • Shadow (verb)

    To block light or radio transmission.

    “Looks like that cloud’s going to shadow us.”

  • Shadow (verb)

    To secretly or discreetly track or follow another, to keep under surveillance.

  • Shadow (verb)

    To accompany a professional during the working day, so as to learn about an occupation one intends to take up.

  • Shadow (verb)

    To make an identifier, usually a variable, inaccessible by declaring another of the same name within the scope of the first.

  • Shadow (verb)

    To apply the shadowing process to (the contents of ROM).

  • Shadow (adjective)

    Unofficial, informal, unauthorized, but acting as though it were.

    “The human resources department has a shadow information technology group without headquarters knowledge.”

  • Shadow (adjective)

    Having power or influence, but not widely known or recognized.

    “The director has been giving shadow leadership to the other group’s project to ensure its success.”

    “The illuminati shadow group has been pulling strings from behind the scenes.”

  • Shadow (adjective)

    Acting in a leadership role before being formally recognized.

    “The shadow cabinet cannot agree on the terms of the agreement due immediately after they are sworn in.”

    “The insurgents’ shadow government is being crippled by the federal military strikes.”

  • Shadow (adjective)

    Part of, or related to, the opposition in government.

  • Silhouette (noun)

    An illustrated outline filled in with a solid color(s), usually only black, and intended to represent the shape of an object without revealing any other visual details; a similar appearance produced when the object being viewed is situated in relative darkness with brighter lighting behind it; a profile portrait in black, such as a shadow appears to be. mid 19th c.

    “I could see a silhouette of a figure looking out from the window, but I couldn’t tell if it was a man or a woman.”

  • Silhouette (verb)

    To represent by a silhouette; to project upon a background, so as to be like a silhouette. late 19th c.


Leave a Comment