What does sketchy mean?


A sketchy person, situation, or object is one you should be suspicious of - and likely avoid. Friends, co-workers, and others might tell you someone or something is sketchy, via text message, online chat, or web forums.

Where did sketchy originate?

As you likely know, a sketch is a rough drawing that an artist uses as a guideline for a finalized piece of artwork. Sketches are drawn quickly and loosely, and they lack details the artist plans to add to their finished piece.

Pieces of artwork that are very sketch-like, in that they are composed of rough, loose lines and few details, are often called sketchy. To some critics, sketchy works appear incomplete and unsound. This critically-connoted version of sketchy made the jump from the art world to the general populace, where people now use sketchy to describe anything incomplete, unsound, or just plain sus. You may also see people shorten sketchy to just "sketch."


My neighbors are so sketchy. I'm really hoping they'll move

Related Slang


Updated July 30, 2021

Sketchy definition by

This page explains what the slang term "Sketchy" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the team.

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