1

shallow

play
adjective shal·low \ˈsha-(ˌ)lō\

Definition of shallow

  1. 1 :  having little depth shallow water

  2. 2 :  having little extension inward or backward office buildings have taken the form of shallow slabs — Lewis Mumford

  3. 3a :  penetrating only the easily or quickly perceived shallow generalizationsb :  lacking in depth of knowledge, thought, or feeling a shallow demagogue

  4. 4 :  displacing comparatively little air :  weak shallow breathing

shallowly

play \-lō-lē, -lə-lē\ adverb

shallowness

noun

Examples of shallow in a sentence

  1. The shallow end of the pool is only three feet deep.

  2. Her boyfriends were all shallow creeps.

  3. She could only take shallow breaths.

  4. His breathing became very shallow.

Origin and Etymology of shallow

Middle English schalowe; probably akin to Old English sceald shallow — more at skeleton


First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of shallow

superficial, shallow, cursory mean lacking in depth or solidity. superficial implies a concern only with surface aspects or obvious features. a superficial analysis of the problem shallow is more generally derogatory in implying lack of depth in knowledge, reasoning, emotions, or character. a light, shallow, and frivolous review cursory suggests a lack of thoroughness or a neglect of details. gave the letter only a cursory reading

2

shallow

verb shal·low

Definition of shallow

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to make shallow

  3. intransitive verb
  4. :  to become shallow

1510

First Known Use of shallow

1510


3

shallow

noun shal·low

Definition of shallow

  1. :  a shallow place or area in a body of water —usually used in plural but singular or plural in construction

Examples of shallow in a sentence

  1. we waded through the shallows looking for tadpoles

1569

First Known Use of shallow

1569


SHALLOW Defined for English Language Learners

1

shallow

play
adjective shal·low \ˈsha-(ˌ)lō\

Definition of shallow for English Language Learners

  • : having a small distance to the bottom from the surface or highest point

  • : not going far inward from the outside or the front edge of something

  • : not caring about or involving serious or important things


SHALLOW Defined for Kids

1

shallow

play
adjective shal·low \ˈsha-lō\

Definition of shallow for Students

shallower

;

shallowest

  1. 1 :  not deep a shallow stream

  2. 2 :  taking in small amounts of air shallow breaths

  3. 3 :  showing little knowledge, thought, or feeling They're shallow people only interested in money.

shallowness

noun

2

shallow

play
noun shal·low

Definition of shallow for Students

  1. :  a shallow place in a body of water —usually used in pl.


Medical Dictionary

shallow

play
adjective shal·low \ˈshal-(ˌ)ō, -ə(-w)\

Medical Definition of shallow

  1. :  displacing comparatively little air shallow breathing



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a person who is a bore or nuisance

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • peter-bruegel-tower-of-babel-painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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