noun \ ˈdepth \
|Updated on: 16 Aug 2018

Definition of depth

plural depths play \ˈdepths, ˈdep(t)s\
1 a (1) : a deep place in a body of water
  • fish living at great depths
(2) : a part that is far from the outside or surface
  • the depths of the woods
(3) : abyss 1
b (1) : a profound or intense state (as of thought or feeling)
  • the depths of sorrow
; also : a reprehensibly low condition
  • hadn't realized that standards had fallen to such depths
(2) : the middle of a time (such as a season)
  • the depths of winter
(3) : the worst part
  • the depths of the depression
2 mathematics
a : the perpendicular (see 1perpendicular 1b) measurement downward from a surface
  • the depth of a swimming pool
b : the direct linear measurement from front to back
  • the depth of a bookshelf
3 : the quality of being deep
  • the depth of the pass
4 : the degree of intensity
  • depth of a color
; also : the quality of being profound (as in insight) or full (as of knowledge)
  • the depth of her experience
5 : the quality or state of being complete or thorough
  • a study will be made in depth
6 US, sports : the quality of having many good players
  • a team that lacks depth in the outfield


play \ˈdepth-ləs\ adjective
beyond one's depth or out of one's depth
: beyond the limits of one's capabilities
  • an actor who is out of his depth in serious drama

Examples of depth in a Sentence

  1. These fish typically live at depths of 500 feet or more.

  2. Students will test the temperature of the water at different depths.

  3. The boat sank to a depth of several hundred feet.

  4. measuring the depth of the water

  5. the depth of a hole

  6. The pool has a depth of 12 feet.

  7. I began working at the factory during the depth of the Depression.

Recent Examples of depth from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'depth.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of depth

Middle English, from dep deep

DEPTH Defined for Kids


noun \ ˈdepth \

Definition of depth for Students

1 : measurement from top to bottom or from front to back
  • a cupboard's depth
2 : a place far below a surface or far inside something (as a sea or a forest)
  • Some unusual fish live at great depths.
3 : the middle of time
  • the depth of winter
4 : intensity 2
  • a depth of color
  • No one can imagine the … depth of our emotion …
  • —E. B. White, The Trumpet of the Swan
5 : abundance, completeness
  • The speaker displayed a depth of knowledge.

Medical Dictionary


noun \ ˈdepth \

medical Definition of depth

plural depths play \ˈdepth, ˈdep(t)s\
1 : the distance between upper and lower or between dorsal and ventral points of a body
2 : the quality of a state of consciousness, a bodily state, or a physiological function of being intense or complete
  • the depth of anesthesia
  • the depth of respiration

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