\ˈdepth \
plural depths\ ˈdepths , ˈdep(t)s \

Definition of depth 

1a(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 sense 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 perpendicular entry 1 sense 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

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from depth

depthless \ ˈdepth-​ləs \ adjective

Examples of depth in a Sentence

These fish typically live at depths of 500 feet or more. Students will test the temperature of the water at different depths. The boat sank to a depth of several hundred feet. measuring the depth of the water the depth of a hole The pool has a depth of 12 feet. I began working at the factory during the depth of the Depression.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

If your shower wall has a depth of at least four feet, the showerhead can comfortably be mounted on the back wall. Stacy Argo, Houston Chronicle, "Sleek, modern shower doors provide streamlined look," 8 July 2018 Her clarity and intellectual strength in the Senate hearings for her current judgeship showed an intellect and a depth of thought that would be powerful on the Supreme Court. Catherine Lucey, Time, "President Trump Talks to Three More Candidates to Fill Justice Kennedy's Supreme Court Seat," 4 July 2018 Into this crumbling, otherworldly dreamscape comes a group of outsiders from the big city, off the grid and out of their depth. Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Volcano': Film Review | Karlovy Vary 2018," 13 July 2018 This measurement reflects both the number of folds and their depth at approximately 340,000 points across the cortex. Rachel Zamzow, Scientific American, "Brains of Children with Autism Show Unusual Folding Patterns," 9 July 2018 But for the Brewers to remain in first place in the National League Central for much of the first half is a testament both to their depth of talent and resolve not to let injuries derail their season. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Haudricourt: Brewers' depth has been huge in overcoming series of injuries this season," 6 July 2018 Just one day after his University of Florida rotation-mate Jackson Kowar inked his own contract with the Royals, Singer agreed to join an organization that in the last few years has seen its depth at pitching both tested and taunted. Maria Torres, kansascity, "'He is gonna be what people come to see': Royals sign, introduce top pick Brady Singer," 3 July 2018 World Cup debutant Panama was the only team to look seriously out of its depth. John Leicester,, "Is this the best-ever World Cup?," 29 June 2018 With his wideout depth, a beefed-up tight end presence and the addition of Gore, Tannehill won't lack for options. Greg Cote, miamiherald, "Looking for reasons the Dolphins can surprise their doubters in 2018? Here are seven," 27 June 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of depth

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

History and Etymology for depth

Middle English, from dep deep

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about depth

Statistics for depth

Last Updated

8 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for depth

The first known use of depth was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for depth


\ˈdepth \

Kids Definition of depth

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 sense 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.


\ˈdepth \
plural depths\ ˈdepth , ˈdep(t)s \

Medical Definition of depth 

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on depth

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for depth

Spanish Central: Translation of depth

Nglish: Translation of depth for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of depth for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about depth

Comments on depth

What made you want to look up depth? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


playful or foolish behavior

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!