\ ˈshā-dē How to pronounce shady (audio) \
shadier; shadiest

Definition of shady

1 : producing or affording shade
2 : sheltered from the sun's rays
3a : of questionable merit : uncertain, unreliable

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Other Words from shady

shadily \ ˈshā-​ə-​lē How to pronounce shadily (audio) \ adverb
shadiness \ ˈshā-​dē-​nəs How to pronounce shadiness (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for shady


shaded, shadowed, shadowy, umbrageous


exposed, shadeless, sunny

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Examples of shady in a Sentence

Their backyard is nice and shady. I don't trust him. He seems like a pretty shady character.

Recent Examples on the Web

After a shady investor steals their new invention, Nick, Dale and Kurt conspire to kidnap the man’s adult son and ransom him to pay off their debts. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 1 - 7, 2019: John Wayne in ‘The Searchers’ and more," 30 Aug. 2019 Show Dorian who’s boss by planning a picnic 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday during the free Revolution Live Sunday Jazz Brunch, which brings performers to three stages along the shady banks of the New River in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Ben Crandell,, "Labor Day Weekend things to do: New lounge, new brewery in Fort Lauderdale, a SUP race, S’mores and Stones," 28 Aug. 2019 That’s because while Eureka, Canada — an Arctic settlement that is home to one of the world’s northern-most research centers — holds the sunny record in May, weather and cloud coverage make its night-less summer days a little shady. David Ferry,, "Is Sacramento really the sunniest place on Earth?," 23 Aug. 2019 Retreat to the amazing backyard professionally designed and completely refreshed with an optimal combination of sunny and shady venues for entertaining on every level. Monica Lander, The Mercury News, "Sponsored: A stunning remodel in a gorgeous Hidden Oaks setting," 19 Aug. 2019 How to avoid it: Do not buy high-fashion accessories or antiques from street vendors or shady-looking shops. Andrea Sachs, Twin Cities, "10 common travel scams — and how to avoid them," 10 Aug. 2019 Why won’t Mueller accuse Trump? Mueller’s refusal to elaborate will seem shady perhaps. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "This is the one thing everyone hopes Mueller can clarify," 22 July 2019 Feeling shady! Kourtney Kardashian wore matching sunglasses with daughter Penelope, who turns 7 next month, and niece North, 6, in a new photo from the family’s recent Costa Rica vacation. Helen Murphy,, "Kourtney Kardashian Poses with Daughter Penelope, 6, & Niece North, 6, in Sweet Costa Rica Selfie," 29 June 2019 The term’s shady underbelly has been on display most recently thanks to the Trump-Russia saga. Ben Zimmer, WSJ, "The Meaning of ‘Synergy’: Working Together, for Good and Ill," 14 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shady.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of shady

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near shady

shad tree

shad trout






Statistics for shady

Last Updated

4 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shady

The first known use of shady was in 1579

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More Definitions for shady



English Language Learners Definition of shady

: giving or providing shade
: sheltered from the sun's light : having shade
informal : seeming to be dishonest


\ ˈshā-dē How to pronounce shady (audio) \
shadier; shadiest

Kids Definition of shady

1 : sheltered from the sun's rays
2 : producing shade a shady tree
3 : not right or honest shady business deals

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More from Merriam-Webster on shady

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shady

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shady

Spanish Central: Translation of shady

Nglish: Translation of shady for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shady for Arabic Speakers

Comments on shady

What made you want to look up shady? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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