Shade is caused by some object blocking the sunlight. So, opposite of sunny in this case cannot be shady(?).

So, when there is no sun in the sky and therefore it is not sunny, then how should I describe the climate/area?

5 Answers 5


The best adjective in your context would be "overcast." As defined by Wiki:

Overcast or overcast weather, as defined by the World Meteorological Organization, is the meteorological condition of clouds obscuring all of the sky.

An example of overcast weather:

enter image description here From Wikipedia

"Cloudy" is fine, too. But if you want to convey that there is no sunlight at all, then this would not be the best option. You need to further describe it. Sky can be very cloudy, but this doesn't mean that there is no light striking the land because of the clouds, as clouds can very well be transparent.

You can, for example, see here:

enter image description here

You can read these definitions taken from ldoceonline:

enter image description here


Is there no sun in the sky because it is covered by clouds? Use "cloudy", "overcast", or "grey" (or "gray").

Or because it is night? If there are clouds, "cloudy" and "overcast" still apply. If there are no clouds (so you're trying to say "it would be sunny if it wasn't night"), use "clear" or "clear skies".

If it's raining (or hailing, snowing, etc.), then say that. It's implied that you can't see the sun when it's raining, unless you very specifically say so (a "sun shower").

  • In addition to "night", "twilight" and "dusk" could also be used when it's appropriate, e.g., "the dusking sky". Dec 21, 2015 at 8:15
  • @autumnseason This looks like it is your question. So, you (and only you) should be able to "accept" this answer (which provides an even bigger reputation than a simple upvote).
    – TOOGAM
    Dec 21, 2015 at 9:47
  • @DamkerngT. "the dusking sky" is not grammatical. Dusk is not a verb; nor are night or twilight, or noon or midnight for that matter. Dawn can be a verb, but not the rest.
    – KRyan
    Dec 21, 2015 at 16:23
  • @KRyan I was rather sure that it could be. The Oxford dictionary lists its verb usage, but with a usage note literary. Dec 21, 2015 at 16:36

The adjective "sunny" means "being with sunlight; having a lot of sunshine."

You may use "cloudy," "dark," "overcast," or "gloomy" as an antonym of the "sunny," depending on the context.

But I think the most appropriate antonym is "sunless."

The adjective "sunless" means "being without sunlight; having no sun."


"Dark" describes a lack of light. As Tim Pederick suggests, the darkness could be due to clouds, overcast, or nighttime. The darkness could also be caused by fog, an eclipse, being in a deep hole, being in a deep canyon, being deep underwater, or being billion(s) of miles from the sun.


To me, the best opposite of "sunny" is "cloudy".


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