\ˈshā-dē \
shadier; shadiest

Definition of shady 

1 : producing or affording shade

2 : sheltered from the sun's rays

3a : of questionable merit : uncertain, unreliable

b : disreputable

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Other Words from shady

shadily \ˈshā-​ə-​lē \ adverb
shadiness \ˈshā-​dē-​nəs \ 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

And Anna’s murder is a puzzle with a lot of possible solutions, involving everything from a secret past to a shady business deal. Noel Murray, The Verge, "This weekend, stream some ‘Nordic noir’ on Netflix, starting with Deadwind," 9 Nov. 2018 For all the talk of Russian collusion, the then-candidate may have been too engrossed in the Fox News programming of the day to be aware of whatever shady business in which his associates, familial and otherwise, were engaged. Jay Willis, GQ, "Donald Trump Jr.’s Explanations for the Trump Tower Russia Meeting Don't Add Up," 16 May 2018 The Slow is a shady café with concrete floors and Nakashima-style wooden tables serving fresh juices and tonics alongside small plates of veg-forward cuisine in the boutique hotel by the same name. Alex Postman, Condé Nast Traveler, "Finding the Bali You Came For," 16 Nov. 2018 If your patio is shady, use pentas to bring in the hummingbirds for observation. Calvin Finch, San Antonio Express-News, "The plants that will attract fall hummingbirds, butterflies," 13 July 2018 The practice has netted millions of dollars over the years and spawned a mini literary genre that regularly fills up reporters’ in boxes: the news release touting a monetary recovery from another shady, discredited company’s business practice. Greg Moran,, "Appeals court ruling could affect DA-driven consumer lawsuits," 6 July 2018 That sudden rise in crypto created a mad dash by consumers who wanted in on the craze, and some shady businesses were trying to capitalize by promoting scams, hence the ban by Facebook. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "Facebook is reversing its ban on cryptocurrency ads," 26 June 2018 And people have been opinionating that President Trump’s finances were, there’s something shady there, for a long time. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Why the New York Times won’t sell itself to a billionaire," 5 Nov. 2018 The shady dealings of Frank and Claire Underwood made for fantastic, enthralling television, and viewers were glued to their seats for five seasons straight. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "House of Cards Season 6: Everything You Need to Know," 15 Oct. 2018

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

11 Dec 2018

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

: seeming to be dishonest


\ˈshā-dē \
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 knickknack or trinket

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