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

Founded by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps in the 1980s as a shadowy guerrilla force dedicated to ejecting the Israeli troops who were then occupying Lebanon, Hezbollah has become the prototype for Iran’s subsequent proxy forces in the region. Suzan Haidamous, The Seattle Times, "Trump’s sanctions on Iran are hitting Hezbollah hard," 18 May 2019 Banks, wary of the drug dealers and scammers attracted to the anonymity of cryptocurrency, shun many of the firms behind the electronic money, leaving them to turn to shadowy middlemen for payment processing and other financial services. Paul Vigna, WSJ, "Lack of Banking Options a Big Problem for Crypto Businesses," 17 May 2019 Now, our nation was fighting a shadowy organization in the Middle East—one with the resources and hatred to kill 3,000 innocent men and women without a second thought. Claire Gibson, Marie Claire, "Why My Relationship With Camo Print Is Messy," 29 Apr. 2019 In 10th-century Basra, in present-day Iraq, a shadowy group of Muslim intellectuals called the Brethren of Purity compiled a massive encyclopedia of all the scientific and philosophical knowledge of the time. Eric Ormsby, WSJ, "‘Arabs’ Review: One Tongue, Many Peoples," 26 Apr. 2019 These theories come in a nearly infinite variety, but all reach essentially the same conclusion: The U.S. government, or some shadowy group that controls it, organized the attacks as part of a master plan for global domination. John Mccain, Popular Mechanics, "John McCain: The 9/11 Conspiracy Myths and the Truth Under Attack," 11 Sep. 2018 Their biggest piece of evidence—a grainy video showing two shadowy figures on a city sidewalk—seemed like a slim lead. Erin Ailworth, WSJ, "Police Say Smollett Faked Hate Crime Because He Was Dissatisfied With His Salary," 21 Feb. 2019 The shadowy organization called the Twelve that Villanelle works for is fleshed out in the book. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "What Luke Jennings' 'Codename Villanelle' Hints About 'Killing Eve' Season 2," 30 Jan. 2019 Yes, there are plutonium orbs, a shadowy cabal of anarchists threatening nuclear Armageddon, but—spoiler—Cruise stops them! Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "5 Reasons You Have to See Mission: Impossible—Fallout (Really!)," 26 July 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

28 May 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 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

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