to slowly disappear, lose importance, or become weaker
In the last weeks of her life she simply faded away.
fade /feɪd/ BrE AmE verb
[Date: 1300-1400; Language: French; Origin: fader, from Latin fatuus; ⇨ ↑fatuous]
1. [intransitive] (also fade away) to gradually disappear:
Hopes of a peace settlement are beginning to fade.
Over the years her beauty had faded a little.
2. [intransitive and transitive] to lose colour and brightness, or to make something do this:
the fading evening light
a pair of faded jeans
The sun had faded the curtains.
3. [intransitive] (also fade away) to become weaker physically, especially so that you become very ill or die
4. [intransitive] if a team fades, it stops playing as well as it did before
5. fade into insignificance to seem unimportant:
Our problems fade into insignificance when compared with those of the people here.
fade in phrasal verb
to appear slowly or become louder, or to make a picture or sound do this
fade something ↔ in
Additional background sound is faded in at the beginning of the shot.
—ˈfade-in noun [countable]
fade out phrasal verb
to disappear slowly or become quieter, or to make a picture or sound do this
fade something ↔ out
He slid a control to fade out the music.
—ˈfade-out noun [countable]
ˌfade aˈway derived
(of a person) to become very weak or ill/sick and die
• In the last weeks of her life she simply faded away.
Main entry: fade
Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary - 4th Edition
fade away — phrasal verb with fade / feɪd / verb [ I or T ]
B2 to slowly disappear, lose importance, or become weaker:
The voices became louder and closer and then faded away again.
As the years passed, the memories faded away.
© Cambridge University Press 2013
fades, fading, faded
1) V-ERG When a coloured object fades or when the light fades it, it gradually becomes paler.
All colour fades - especially under the impact of direct sunlight...
[V n] No matter how soft the light is, it still plays havoc, fading carpets and curtains in every room.
[V-ing] ...fading portraits of the Queen and Prince Philip.
faded ADJ-GRADED ...a girl in a faded dress. ...faded painted signs on the sides of some of the buildings.
2) VERB When light fades, it slowly becomes less bright. When a sound fades, it slowly becomes less loud.
Seaton lay on his bed and gazed at the ceiling as the light faded...
[V into n] The sound of the last bomber's engines faded into the distance.
3) VERB When something that you are looking at fades, it slowly becomes less bright or clear until it disappears.
[V from/into n] They observed the comet for 70 days before it faded from sight...
[V from/into n] They watched the familiar mountains fade into the darkness.
Fade away means the same as fade. Also V P V P into n We watched the harbour and then the coastline fade away into the morning mist.
4) VERB If someone or something fades, for example, into the background, they become hardly noticeable or very unimportant.
[V into/from n] She had a way of fading into the background when things got rough...
[V into/from n] The most prominent poets of the Victorian period had all but faded from the scene.
Fade away means the same as fade. Also V P V P into n The sound comes up and slowly fades away into the distance.
5) VERB If memories, feelings, or possibilities fade, they slowly become less intense or less strong.
Sympathy for the rebels, the government claims, is beginning to fade...
Prospects for peace had already started to fade.
[V-ing] ...fading memories of better days.
6) VERB If someone's smile fades, they slowly stop smiling.
Jay nodded, his smile fading.
- fade away
- fade out
1fade /ˈfeɪd/ verb fades; fad·ed; fad·ing
1 [no obj]
a : to lose strength or freshness
• The flowers were fading in the vase. : to become weaker
• the fading light of late afternoon
• She was fading fast from the effects of the pneumonia.
• Her hearing gradually faded (away) as she grew older.
• His voice faded off into a whisper. = His voice faded to a whisper.
b : to disappear gradually
• We watched the ship gradually fade from view as it sailed away.
• The smile faded from his face.
• Hopes for a quick end of the crisis are fading fast.
• Their reasons for leaving have faded from memory.
• He's trying to recapture the faded glory of his youth.
• The band's popularity has faded in recent years.
2 : to become less bright : to lose color
• The fabric will fade unless you protect it from the sunlight.
• The colors of the photograph have faded with time.
• Exposure to the elements has faded the car's finish.
• blue jeans faded by wear
• She was wearing faded blue jeans.
3 [no obj] : to change gradually in loudness, strength, or appearance - used to describe a radio signal, a picture in a movie, etc.
• As the hero rides into the sunset, the screen fades to black. [=the image gradually changes until the screen is completely black]
- often + in or out
• One scene fades out as the next fades in.
• The radio signal faded out as we got further from the station.
• The sound of her voice gradually faded out.