\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

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

Check out PCWorld's roundup of the best VPNs before downloading an untested version from a shady part of the web. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "S5Mark is a 'VPN' that is actually a rootkit in disguise, BitDefender says," 18 June 2018 The movie throws together various shady and colorful characters and has them cross paths and create trouble. Mick Lasalle, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘Gringo’ starring Theron, Oyelowo is big mess, but here and there it’s fun," 8 Mar. 2018 Burgess, whose previous work, Dry Powder, dealt with shady dealings in the financial world, here tackles Washington politics, particularly the pernicious aspects of lobbying. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Kings': Theater Review," 21 Feb. 2018 According to court records, the scheme involving Patino, Burns and other fighters ran between 2012-2014 and relied on shady bank transactions where money was funneled in and out of accounts to hide what was going on. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "Feds: Doctor, UFC champion used urine tests in $112-million scam," 29 June 2018 There is still plenty of reporting about Fidesz’s shady deals online. Josephine Huetlin, The New Republic, "Why Do Populists Frequently Get Away With Corruption?," 25 June 2018 Housing options are many — and often verdant and shady amid the city’s many live oaks. A.d. Thompson,, "Longwood Neighborhood Guide," 21 June 2018 The tour includes updates on 20th Ward Alderman Willie Cochran's 2016 indictment for stealing charitable contributions and Alderman Ed Burke's shady deals with the Vienna Beef company, as well as any new developments on other pending cases. Matt Harvey, Chicago Reader, "Arts / History / News / Politics / The Trump Era Chicago Corruption Walking Tours take sightseers through the seedy underbelly of the city's politics," 14 June 2018 Paul Manafort might still be cutting shady deals; Stormy Daniels wouldn’t be a household name; and none of us would have had to endure Comey’s book-selling-ethical-leadership tour. T.a. Frank, The Hive, "A Note to Woke Washington: The Bush Administration Was So Much Worse," 4 May 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

2 Oct 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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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).


evasion of direct action or statement

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