Also found in: Thesaurus.


adj. shad·ow·i·er, shad·ow·i·est
a. Full of or dark with shadow: See Synonyms at dark.
b. Casting shadows: shadowy trees.
2. Lacking distinctness; faint: shadowy forms in the darkness.
3. Lacking substance; unsubstantial: "It would have been the right thing had he gone before it was too late, for then he might have been only a shadowy dream in Edna's life, instead of a consuming reality" (Kate Chopin).
a. Little known or understood; obscure or mysterious: "Beginnings are apt to be shadowy, and so it is with the first cell, born perhaps more than 3.5 billion years ago" (Jennifer Ackerman).
b. Of questionable character; shady: "[He] had a formidable, if shadowy, reputation for his undercover work" (Peter Grose).

shad′ow·i·ly adv.
shad′ow·i·ness n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


in a shadowy way or manner
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in classic literature ?
On the port bow there was a big one more distant and shadowily imposing by the great space of sky it eclipsed.
To the west of the knoll on which the windmill shadowily roosts, two villagers skirt a marsh, part of Holland's watery soil, to reach a footbridge in the afterglow of the departed sun.
Rather more shadowily, Caleb perhaps suggests some of the simplicity and virtue of the plain citizen of the Roman Republic, in primitive days before the sophisticated and tyrannous emperors destroyed the fibre of that people.