shadowy

The adjective shadowy is good for describing things that are mysterious or hard to see, like a dim figure in the fog or the social rules of a typical middle school.

Indistinct or faint objects are shadowy, whether they're distant people standing in a dark alley or birds you can barely see against the choppy surface of the ocean. You can also describe something that's ghostly or unreal as shadowy. A shadowy room or a shadowy figure brushing past you would both be insubstantial and vaguely spooky. The root of shadowy is the Old English word sceadu, "shade, shadow, or darkness."

Definitions of shadowy
  1. adjective
    filled with shade
    “we sat on rocks in a shadowy cove”
    synonyms: shadowed, shady, umbrageous
    shaded
    protected from heat and light with shade or shadow
  2. adjective
    lacking clarity or distinctness
    shadowy figures in the gloom”
    synonyms: dim, faint, vague, wispy
    indistinct
    not clearly defined or easy to perceive or understand
  3. adjective
    lacking in substance
    “"strange fancies of unreal and shadowy worlds"- W.A.Butler”
    “dim shadowy forms”
    synonyms: wraithlike
    insubstantial, unreal, unsubstantial
    lacking material form or substance; unreal
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