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
The neighborhood on Howard near Seventh Street is still a bit sketchy, so the door is locked.
The adrenaline is undeniable, and even when things get a little sketchy, there's always Del Toro.
Among the artists in this group exhibit who allude to landscapes and other natural subject matter, the acrylic paintings by Myung Sook Ryu Kim are sketchy to the point of borderline-abstraction.
When Trump was informed about the payment is also of significance, and Giuliani was sketchy on that detail.
Khloe has denied that there was any cheating involved in their meet-cute, but people still find the timeline sketchy.
The crash happened at 9:50 p.m. Details of what led up to the accident were sketchy, but authorities said Coleman's Chevrolet Tahoe was found overturned in the middle of Daniel Payne Drive.
A decade after that — after moving to Maine, becoming a nurse, and having two kids — the Drug Enforcement Administration cracked down on sketchy online pharmacies that sold pills, and True started on heroin.
Ettel’s own company, which also sells products for pets, is even more legally sketchy given that cannabis is not approved and regulated for use on animals.
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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