shad·​owy ˈsha-dō-ē How to pronounce shadowy (audio)
: of the nature of or resembling a shadow
: faintly perceptible : indistinct
: being in or obscured by shadow
deep shadowy interiors
shadowily adverb
shadowiness noun

Examples of shadowy in a Sentence

She was pursued by a shadowy figure. He had only a shadowy idea of what they wanted him to do.
Recent Examples on the Web Phillip Barker’s production design is sumptuous and at times just a little bit sinister, with flickers of images projected across undulating backdrops conveying shadowy hints of German Expressionism. Michael Rechtshaffen, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Sep. 2023 The next day, Club Chalamet also hosted a Twitter Spaces, where the account owner spoke for over 52 minutes, insinuating that Chalamet was being blackmailed by a shadowy entity into being seen publicly with Jenner. Ct Jones, Rolling Stone, 8 Sep. 2023 They’re rowed by shadowy figures who, like everyone else in the place, seem to be perpetually in need of something to eat. Alison Willmore, Vulture, 8 Sep. 2023 Figure at Mid-noon, a shadowy, granular etching and drypoint from the early 1950s, could almost pass for a Dubuffet flattened into two dimensions. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 6 Sep. 2023 The idea piqued the interest of investors, including Jihan Wu, the shadowy cofounder of Chinese Bitcoin mining firm Bitmain, which would lead to a $110 million funding round for Circle that month, pushing its valuation to $3 billion. Leo Schwartz, Fortune Crypto, 6 Sep. 2023 Wagner commander Dmitry Utkin — a shadowy figure with neo-Nazi tattoos known as the mercenary chief’s right-hand man — and logistics chief Valery Chekalov were on board the flight with Prigozhin, according to Russian authorities. Leila Sackur, NBC News, 26 Aug. 2023 The violent far right is often described as a shadowy and somewhat faceless force. Benjamin Wallace-Wells, The New Yorker, 29 Aug. 2023 The mirror selfie as posted is dark and shadowy — more of a silhouette of Benito — but little was left to the imagination when fans started lightening the image and reposting it. Ashley Iasimone, Billboard, 27 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'shadowy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of shadowy was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near shadowy

Cite this Entry

“Shadowy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


shad·​owy ˈshad-ə-wē How to pronounce shadowy (audio)
: not realistic
shadowy dreams of glory
: dim as a shadow
the shadowy area between good and bad
: full of shade
a shadowy lane

More from Merriam-Webster on shadowy

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