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

Synonyms & Antonyms for shady


shaded, shadowed, shadowy, umbrageous


exposed, shadeless, sunny

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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

In order to circumvent this shady behavior, Global Fishing Watch started supplementing beacon locations with data from earth-observation satellites. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "How Small Satellites Will Help Police Earth's Vast Oceans," 4 Feb. 2019 The Broken Drum has long changed from a sort of shady place to go. Marilyn Hagerty, Bon Appetit, "Marilyn Hagerty, of Viral Olive Garden Restaurant Review Fame, Reviews the Broken Drum in North Dakota," 6 June 2018 The two have kept up this feud for years, each allegedly writing songs about the other's shady behavior. Kathryn Lindsay,, "Are Celebrity Apologies Just Another PR Move?," 11 May 2018 When the law goes into effect, towing companies who engage in shady behavior will face the possibility of serious prosecution. Rebekah L. Sanders, azcentral, "10 things towing companies can't do under new Arizona law," 18 Apr. 2018 His newly public allegations of excessive spending, retaliation, and overall shady behavior at EPA could represent the most significant threat to Pruitt’s job yet. Emily Atkin, The New Republic, "Another bomb just dropped on Scott Pruitt—from a Trump ally.," 12 Apr. 2018 The Nelson-Rubio bill, called the Sober Home Fraud Detection Act, also calls for the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to figure out the best ways for the public, insurers and law enforcement to report shady operators. Lois K. Solomon,, "Sens. Rubio, Nelson push bill to help consumers identify illicit sober homes," 10 May 2018 The super secret Starfleet organization involved in all things shady? Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "'Star Trek: Discovery' Is All About Friendship and Death This Week," 8 Feb. 2019 Khloe basically confirmed the scandal via some VERY shady likes on Twitter. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "9 Signs Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson Did In Fact Hook Up," 22 Feb. 2019

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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Dictionary Entries near shady

shad tree

shad trout






Statistics for shady

Last Updated

15 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shady

The first known use of shady was in 1579

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More Definitions for shady



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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More from Merriam-Webster on shady

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shady

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shady

Spanish Central: Translation of shady

Nglish: Translation of shady for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shady for Arabic Speakers

Comments on shady

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


a strong desire or propensity

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