shad·​owy | \ ˈsha-dō-ē , -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 \ adverb
shadowiness \ ˈsha-​də-​wē-​nəs \ 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

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which hands out tonight’s trophies, tends to be a sort of shadowy, mysterious bunch, and their tastes have been known to vary widely from both the critical and audience consensus. Vogue, "All of the Winners From the 2019 Golden Globes," 7 Jan. 2019 Less remake, more regeneration, the new Suspiria retains its predecessor’s setting and setup — a prestigious German dance school run by a shadowy coven — but digs its hooks into elements that Argento’s film floated past. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "The 21 best movies of 2018," 14 Dec. 2018 Explore a large, interconnected underworld crawling with cunning creatures, deadly traps, and a mysterious shadowy presence. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Long-awaited survival game Below is out next week," 6 Dec. 2018 But the unspoken subtext raises a shadowy question: If Dunham was a man, if her health issue wasn’t a women’s health issue, would anyone ask if her illness was all in her head? Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Lena Dunham Gets Real About Her Latest Surgery—And the Gender Bias Around Women’s Health Issues," 17 Oct. 2018 To the Indonesian government, the 39-year-old factory worker and globe-trotting Polish traveler is a danger to the state, a man who plotted with shadowy gunmen to foment revolt in isolated eastern jungles. Stephen Wright, Fox News, "Polish globe-trotter blunders into Indonesia-Papua conflict," 24 Sep. 2018 The moon will be a dark supermoon, which occurs when a shadowy new lunar orb is exceptionally close to the Earth, adding to the eeriness of the event. Eileen Reslen, Popular Mechanics, "A Supermoon Partial Eclipse Is Happening Just in Time for Friday the 13th," 13 July 2018 There are lots of POV shots down shadowy corridors, from which pale-faced figures leap and growl. Noel Murray,, "Review: Irish found-footage horror film 'The Devil's Doorway' can't escape clichés," 12 July 2018 The duo visit the musty apartment of a reclusive language tutor, the elegant suite of a physicist in the employ of the U.S. government, and the shadowy ghetto lair of a brutal young hoodlum. Tom Nolan, WSJ, "Mysteries: Tales of Three Blood-Soaked Cities," 30 Nov. 2018

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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Statistics for shadowy

Last Updated

22 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shadowy

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

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More Definitions for shadowy



English Language Learners Definition of shadowy

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


shad·​owy | \ ˈsha-də-wē \

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

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