\ ˈshā-dē How to pronounce shady (audio) \
shadier; shadiest

Definition of shady

1 : producing or affording shade
2 : sheltered from the sun's rays
3a : of questionable merit : uncertain, unreliable

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Other Words from shady

shadily \ ˈshā-​ə-​lē How to pronounce shady (audio) \ adverb
shadiness \ ˈshā-​dē-​nəs How to pronounce shady (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for shady



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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 Among the people in her life who are concerned about her are her daughter (Laya DeLeon Hayes) and a shady character played by Chris Noth holding an umbrella. Rebecca Alter, Vulture, "Queen Latifah, a Woman With No Equals, Stars in The Equalizer Teaser," 9 Jan. 2021 Estancia La Jolla, a 210-room hotel and spa on 10 acres in La Jolla, Calif., moved all fitness classes outside and offered spa treatments in tents along the resort’s shady courtyards. Debra Kamin, WSJ, "Can Spa Resorts Still Be Relaxing During Covid?," 1 Jan. 2021 The newspaper also detailed Hunter Biden's financial dealings with shady Chinese businessmen. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, "Computer repair shop owner sues Twitter for defamation over handling of Hunter Biden story," 28 Dec. 2020 Dip into the Seven Stars Resort's adults-only saltwater pool to take in the underwater music or check out the family-friendly main pool and grab a shady cabana. Michelle Stansbury, Marie Claire, "The Instagram Guide to Turks and Caicos," 23 Dec. 2020 His career in skateboarding seemingly behind him, Henry drifts through his days running shady errands for his boss at the hotel, skating at a local skatepark and pining for his ex. Jonathan Russell Clark, Los Angeles Times, "A pro skater’s novel rides the triumphs and wipeouts of a precarious career," 22 Dec. 2020 The film follows Jean (Brosnahan) as she is forced to go on the run with her baby when her shady AF husband betrays his partners. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "Rachel Brosnahan Was Done Playing Mothers—But Then She Read the Script for I’m Your Woman," 11 Dec. 2020 It’s a shady stretch of stream, with a soft bend at the upper end, riffles that open to a series of ledges, and a wide, deep pool at the end of the rock chute. Slaton L. White, Field & Stream, "F&S Classics: An Evening on the Water," 9 Dec. 2020 Dennis sat under a shady tree beside the spring, the breeze rustling in the leaves. Ian James,, "'Everything is drying up': As springs on Hopi land decline, a sacred connection is threatened," 7 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for shady

Time Traveler

The first known use of shady was in 1579

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Statistics for shady

Last Updated

17 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shady.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for shady


How to pronounce shady (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of shady

: giving or providing shade
: sheltered from the sun's light : having shade
informal : seeming to be dishonest


\ ˈshā-dē How to pronounce shady (audio) \
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

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