shad·​owy | \ ˈsha-dō-ē How to pronounce shadowy (audio) , -də-wē \

Definition of shadowy

1a : of the nature of or resembling a shadow
b : faintly perceptible : indistinct
2 : being in or obscured by shadow deep shadowy interiors

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Other Words from shadowy

shadowily \ ˈsha-​də-​wə-​lē How to pronounce shadowily (audio) \ adverb
shadowiness \ ˈsha-​də-​wē-​nəs How to pronounce shadowiness (audio) \ 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 President Volodymyr Zelensky, a comedian, sitcom star, and political neophyte, catapulted to the presidency of Ukraine last spring on a promise of sweeping away the country’s shadowy web of money and influence. Anton Troianovski,, "Ukraine’s president pledged to tackle corruption. The resistance is fierce.," 19 Jan. 2020 The video has a peculiar and convoluted path that spans a decade and a half, covers thousands of miles, and includes shadowy characters known only by pseudonyms. Tim Mcmillan, Popular Mechanics, "The Tale of the Tape," 17 Jan. 2020 The statement marks a rare revelation of the shadowy struggle between rival intelligence agencies. Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner, "‘Intelligence agent activity’: Germany raids suspected Chinese spy ring," 16 Jan. 2020 Released independently last month, HWLS' debut LP IV is his most mature and comprehensive work to date, with its eight tunes living in shadowy corners of the room and still hitting bittersweet emotional heights. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Billboard Dance Emerging Artists: January 2020," 15 Jan. 2020 But the truth, as often is the case in the small Vatican city-state consumed with power politics and ideological rifts, shadowy maneuvering and gossip, is much stranger. Jason Horowitz, New York Times, "Two Popes, and One Big Furor After Benedict Weighs in on Priestly Celibacy," 13 Jan. 2020 The shadowy twin of the striving for success is an almost Greek sense of the capriciousness of fate. Fintan O’toole, The New York Review of Books, "The Designated Mourner," 7 Jan. 2020 Monteiro, a systems administrator who runs I.T. security for a midsize firm in London, spends his nights as a white-hat hacker and independent cybercrime researcher, navigating the shadowy spaces of the dark web. Brian Merchant, Harper's magazine, "Click Here to Kill," 31 Dec. 2019 Barr has seemed in recent months to take a keen interest in Mifsud, a shadowy figure who last surfaced two years ago for an interview with a reporter in Italy. Matt Zapotosky, Anchorage Daily News, "Barr’s prosecutor says he can’t back right-wing theory that Russia case was US intelligence setup," 5 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shadowy.' 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 shadowy

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

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Time Traveler for shadowy

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for shadowy

Last Updated

22 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Shadowy.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 25 January 2020.

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More Definitions for shadowy


How to pronounce shadowy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of shadowy

: full of shade or shadows
: dark and mysterious
: not clearly seen or understood


shad·​owy | \ ˈsha-də-wē How to pronounce shadowy (audio) \

Kids Definition of shadowy

1 : full of shade a shadowy lane
2 : indistinct Occasionally, they would pass the shadowy figure of someone else walking down the stairs …— Lemony Snicket, The Ersatz Elevator

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More from Merriam-Webster on shadowy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shadowy

Spanish Central: Translation of shadowy

Nglish: Translation of shadowy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shadowy for Arabic Speakers

Comments on shadowy

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


dull or mediocre

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