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[shey-dee] /ˈʃeɪ di/
adjective, shadier, shadiest.
abounding in shade; shaded:
shady paths.
giving shade:
a shady tree.
shadowy; indistinct; spectral.
of dubious character; rather disreputable:
shady dealings.
on the shady side of, Informal. beyond (the specified age); more than:
on the shady side of 40.
Origin of shady
1570-80; shade + -y1
Related forms
shadily, adverb
shadiness, noun
unshadily, adverb
unshadiness, noun
unshady, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for shady
  • The sheltered, shady area kept residents cool in the hot, dry desert climate.
  • There was a fellow round there who was a wonderful horse trainer, but good for nothing else, being shady in other ways.
  • By the same token, not all agents are shady operators.
  • Moist, shady places such as streamsides and canyon bottoms.
  • Handsome wood trellis turns a patch of backyard into a shady kick-back space more.
  • For shady clients, this is a far better proposition: what their bankers do not know, they can never be forced to reveal.
  • They work to feather their nest after they are out of office, and cut more shady deals than ever.
  • All forms can be grown in containers to decorate a shady patio or deck.
  • Critics questioned the new lot's shady tactics as well as their religious motives.
  • Useful for edgings in shady places, as ground cover, and as soothing contrast to brightly colored flowers.
British Dictionary definitions for shady


adjective shadier, shadiest
full of shade; shaded
affording or casting a shade
dim, quiet, or concealed
(informal) dubious or questionable as to honesty or legality
Derived Forms
shadily, adverb
shadiness, 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 shady

"affording shade," 1570s; "protected by shade," 1590s; from shade (n.) + -y (2). Meaning "disreputable" (1862) probably is from earlier university slang sense of "of questionable merit, unreliable" (1848). Related: Shadily; shadiness. Old English had sceadlic "shady, 'shadely.'"

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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