\ˈshā-dē \
shadier; shadiest

Definition of shady 

1 : producing or affording shade

2 : sheltered from the sun's rays

3a : of questionable merit : uncertain, unreliable

b : disreputable

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Other Words from shady

shadily \ˈshā-ə-lē \ adverb
shadiness \ˈshā-dē-nəs \ noun

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

Meanwhile, in the parking lot below, buses pull up by the dozen, filled with Christian tourists led by religious tour guides, who clamber up the side of the site, find a shady spot under a tree and preach about Armageddon. Nina Burleigh, Newsweek, "The Messiah Cometh: Hobby Lobby's Museum of the Bible Descends on the Nation's Capital," 7 Apr. 2016 Other shady spots include the Archer House patio, the Center for Desert Living Trail and the Pratt Ramada, which is at the top of the Sonoran Desert Nature Trail, offering a view of the Valley below. Connie Cone Sexton, azcentral, "10 best shade spots to escape the blistering Phoenix heat," 30 July 2014 Check out PCWorld's roundup of the best VPNs before downloading an untested version from a shady part of the web. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "S5Mark is a 'VPN' that is actually a rootkit in disguise, BitDefender says," 18 June 2018 The movie throws together various shady and colorful characters and has them cross paths and create trouble. Mick Lasalle, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘Gringo’ starring Theron, Oyelowo is big mess, but here and there it’s fun," 8 Mar. 2018 Burgess, whose previous work, Dry Powder, dealt with shady dealings in the financial world, here tackles Washington politics, particularly the pernicious aspects of lobbying. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Kings': Theater Review," 21 Feb. 2018 According to court records, the scheme involving Patino, Burns and other fighters ran between 2012-2014 and relied on shady bank transactions where money was funneled in and out of accounts to hide what was going on. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "Feds: Doctor, UFC champion used urine tests in $112-million scam," 29 June 2018 There is still plenty of reporting about Fidesz’s shady deals online. Josephine Huetlin, The New Republic, "Why Do Populists Frequently Get Away With Corruption?," 25 June 2018 Housing options are many — and often verdant and shady amid the city’s many live oaks. A.d. Thompson,, "Longwood Neighborhood Guide," 21 June 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

16 Oct 2018

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

: seeming to be dishonest


\ˈshā-dē \
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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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).


one that holds something together

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