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From Latin adumbrātiō, from adumbrō. Compare adumbrate.



adumbration (countable and uncountable, plural adumbrations)

  1. (obsolete, art) Shading.
  2. A faint sketch; an outline or brief representation.
  3. (figuratively) A rough or symbolic representation.
  4. A foreshadowing; a vague indication of what is to come.
    • 1969, Vladimir Nabokov, Ada or Ardor, Penguin 2011, p. 238:
      The merest adumbration of an apology on Baron Veen's part would clinch the matter with a token of gracious finality.
    • 2008, Diana Stirling, Chapter 8: Online Learning in Context, Jan Visser, Muriel Visser-Valfrey (editors), Learners in a Changing Learning Landscape: Reflections from a Dialogue on New Roles and Expectations, Springer, page 165,
      It will be argued that the lack of adumbrations in online communication necessitates explicit communication by participants in the process of co-creating meaning and context density.
    • 2014, Walter Brueggemann, William H. Bellinger, Jr., Psalms, New Cambridge Bible Commentary, Cambridge University Press, page 71,
      Such a guarded Real Presence is an adumbration of the entire struggle of Christian sacramental theology with Real Presence.
  5. (philosophy, phenomenology) The form of an object as seen by an observer.
    • 1991, Christopher Macann, Presence and Coincidence: The Transformation of Transcendental into Ontological Phenomenology, Springer, page 65,
      Just as the intentional horizon of the spatial object is made up of those adumbrations which would be implied were I to walk around the object and view it from different points of view, so the intentional horizon of the temporal object is made up of retentions and protensions.
    • 1995, Herman Philipse, 6: Transcendental idealism, Barry Smith, David Woodruff Smith (editors), The Cambridge Companion to Husserl, Cambridge University Press, page 258,
      Obviously, he assumes that adumbrations exist in consciousness and that they are real parts of the stream of conscious experiences. Otherwise he should have inferred from the thought-experiment of the destruction of the world that in this case consciousness would exist together with a chaotic stream of adumbrations.
  6. (heraldry) The shadow or outline of a figure.

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