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penumbra (noun) area of shadow between complete darkness and full light.

An area of shadow that exists between full light and total darkness, as for example, during a partial eclipse of the sun or the moon, is a penumbra. The shadowy region between light and darkness is penumbra.

  • We could see the dim outlines of things in that part of the room lying in the penumbra between the shaft of light coming through the ventilator and the darkness.
  • As the eclipse was partial, the larger part of the moon's disc lay in the penumbra.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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