Examples of sketchy in a Sentence
The details about the accident are still a little sketchy.
I have only a sketchy idea of how it works.
Recent Examples of sketchy from the Web
Sure enough, some of those elements find their way into the play, but in a desperately convoluted and sketchy fashion.
And, citing that refusal as proof that some sort of bombshell details of widespread voter fraud does exist is super super sketchy.
While more details are being added, virtually all reports acknowledge details are sketchy.
And over the past few months, more and more rumors (admittedly, sketchy ones) have pointed toward Apple updating the iPhone SE.
But the pilot is weighed down by cringey prison-rape jokes and a subplot about Tray’s halfway house, run by a sketchy would-be comedian named Mullins (Cedric the Entertainer), that’s much less funny and wildly jarring in tone.
If Thayer's amendment were to become law, politicians and government bureaucrats who want to do something a bit sketchy would simply start communicating using personal devices rather than government computers and phones.
When the cable became too old and sketchy, McCarthy’s 250 or so summer residents, revealing their independent spirit and Alaskan pride, voted against building an automobile bridge.
Reds are nearly nonexistent, as most sketchy customers seem to be derailed at a yellow or orange.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sketchy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
The Varied Meanings of sketchy
A sketch is a rough drawing usually done as an initial draft in contrast to a finished work. The word sketch suggests imperfection and a lack of refinement. It comes from the Dutch word schets and ultimately from the Italian verb schizzare, an imitative verb meaning "to splash."
Unsurprisingly, the adjective sketchy originally described something relating to or resembling a sketch, as in "a sketchy portrait." But because sketches are by nature rough and ill-defined, sketchy soon came to mean "wanting in completeness, clearness, or substance," as in "a sketchy understanding" or "sketchy details."
What lacks completeness, clearness, or substance is also subject to doubt or challenge, and sketchy went on to develop uses applying to what is questionable or iffy, either for physically obvious qualities or for something less tangible. In sports we see this sense of sketchy applied to a track or surface that is poorly maintained, as in "a sketchy track," and in broader use it is applied to streets and neighborhoods that can also be described as seedy, as in "a sketchy part of town."
The adjective has more recently extended in use to describe someone who creates an impression of unsavoriness, or something that comes from an untrustworthy source or is itself untrustworthy, as in "a sketchy dude" or "a scheme that sounds sketchy."
SKETCHY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of sketchy for English Language Learners
: not complete or clear
: done quickly without many details
: likely to be bad or dangerous
SKETCHY Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
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