\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from shady

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for shady



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 Travis' ex-wife, Shanna Moakler, just made a super shady comment on Instagram and some think it was directed right at the new couple. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Did Travis Barker's Ex, Shanna Moakler, Just Make a Super Shady Comment About Travis and Kourtney Kardashian?," 30 Apr. 2021 Federal agents conducted an early morning raid on Rudy Giuliani's Manhattan apartment and offices on Wednesday, looking for dirt on his possibly shady dealings with Ukraine. Dahleen Glanton Chicago Tribune, Star Tribune, "Look on the bright side, GOP," 30 Apr. 2021 More shady spaces to gather and relax will be created., "Park designers settle on new concept for Copley Square," 29 Apr. 2021 The Florida Department of Law Enforcement began investigating Wester in August 2018 after rumors of shady arrests began rippling through the courthouse. Jeff Burlew, USA TODAY, "Former Florida deputy indicted for planting drugs during traffic stops gets 24 new charges," 27 Apr. 2021 The biggest crooks in the Northern Triangle tend to be politicians and narcos snagging shady state contracts. Mary Anastasia O’grady, WSJ, "U.S. Policies Ensure More Migrants," 25 Apr. 2021 Many gardeners use Asiatic jasmine in both shady and sunny spots. Tom Maccubbin,, "Easter lilies will regrow and flower annually," 24 Apr. 2021 Placing sun-loving plants in a shady site (common in the North Shore area) usually results in spindly growth and few, if any, flowers. Tim Johnson,, "Haunted by last year’s garden fails? Here are common mistakes with shade, soil and plant selection to avoid this spring," 24 Apr. 2021 Nevertheless, Sharon was forced to go underground and operate as the Power Broker, a black market art dealer, funder of supersoldier serum projects and general shady person. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "All Your Falcon and the Winter Soldier Finale Questions, Answered," 23 Apr. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of shady

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about shady

Statistics for shady

Last Updated

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shady.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

More from Merriam-Webster on shady

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!