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penumbra

pe·num·bra

penumbra

 
pronunciation:
pih nuhm br
part of speech: noun
inflections: penumbrae, penumbras
definition 1: the partially lighted shadow that surrounds the complete shadow of an opaque body such as the moon during an eclipse. (Cf. umbra.)
definition 2: the grayish area around the dark central area of a sunspot.
definition 3: an indefinite, borderline area.
The case before the court falls into the penumbra of the law, so the path to resolution will be protracted.
derivations: penumbral (adj.), penumbrous (adj.)