9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[shad-oh-ee] /ˈʃæd oʊ i/
adjective, shadowier, shadowiest.
resembling a shadow in faintness, slightness, etc.:
shadowy outlines.
unsubstantial, unreal, or illusory:
shadowy preoccupations.
abounding in shadow; shady:
a shadowy path.
enveloped in shadow.
casting a shadow.
Origin of shadowy
1325-75; Middle English shadewy. See shadow, -y1
Related forms
shadowiness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for shadowy
  • On a deep-sea vessel, scientists dropped traps and nets to obtain a glimmer of the life that exists in the shadowy depths.
  • Lizards gazed at us, then skittered into shadowy cracks.
  • The shadowy surround of the joint may be uric acid crystals.
  • Others seem to incorporate both past and future events in an odd, shadowy collage.
  • Only the faint glow of earthshine filled the shadowy recesses.
  • The discoveries there have also opened a window into the shadowy world of those early voyagers.
  • Not to be left out, the lovely blue sky above displayed it shadowy color to complete this unusual piece of natural art.
  • The shadowy outlines of sharks darted beneath us in the clear water.
  • We face a shadowy, empty-looking building illuminated by a dim blue light over the entry door.
  • Worse, my minder daily reported on my activities to some shadowy figure on the floor above us.
British Dictionary definitions for shadowy


full of shadows; dark; shady
resembling a shadow in faintness; vague
illusory or imaginary
mysterious or secretive: a shadowy underworld figure
Derived Forms
shadowiness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for shadowy

late 14c., shadewy, "full of shadows," also "transitory, fleeting, unreal;" see shadow (n.) + -y (2). From 1797 as "faintly perceptible." Related: Shadowiness. Old English had sceadwig "shady."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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