Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- Partially shaded.
- the penumbrous calm of the cathedral interior
- (Can we verify(+) this sense?) Shady, disreputable, dishonest
- I wouldn't trust him at all; he seems like a penumbrous character to me.
- Vague; ill-defined; unclear.
1951, Reginald Hargreaves, This Happy Breed: Sidelights on Soldiers and Soldiering, page 237:
- Yet such Commissions were awarded, and far more frequently than might be supposed in view of the infinitely wider gulf—both social and educational—which divided the eighteenth-century Officer from the rank and file, than the penumbrous border line which separates them today.
1961, Gerard Smith, & Lottie H. Kendzierski, The philosophy of being: Metaphysics I, page 326:
- Everyone knows God in his penumbrous knowledge of common esse.
1982, Open Letter, page 119:
- This is that from which metaphor springs dissatisfying, penumbrous - the silence on occult matters, or those of predestination, of genetics or environment - and the source of circumlocution, the ambiguous alchemical directives.
1992, James R. Cooper, Twilight's Last Gleaming: The Price of Happiness in America, page 39:
- In the early nineteenth century, when high school and college education was a rare experience for the average American citizen, judicial determination of vague, penumbrous fundamental rights was carried out by the educated classes.