shallow

adjective
shal·​low | \ ˈsha-(ˌ)lō How to pronounce shallow (audio) \

Definition of shallow

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : having little depth shallow water
2 : having little extension inward or backward office buildings have taken the form of shallow slabs— Lewis Mumford
3a : penetrating only the easily or quickly perceived shallow generalizations
b : lacking in depth of knowledge, thought, or feeling a shallow demagogue
4 : displacing comparatively little air : weak shallow breathing

shallow

verb
shallowed; shallowing; shallows

Definition of shallow (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to make shallow

intransitive verb

: to become shallow

shallow

noun

Definition of shallow (Entry 3 of 3)

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

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Other Words from shallow

Adjective

shallowly \ ˈsha-​lō-​lē How to pronounce shallowly (audio) , -​lə-​lē \ adverb
shallowness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for shallow

Synonyms: Adjective

depthless, shoal

Synonyms: Noun

ford, shoal

Antonyms: Adjective

deep

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Choose the Right Synonym for shallow

Adjective

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

Examples of shallow in a Sentence

Adjective

The shallow end of the pool is only three feet deep. Her boyfriends were all shallow creeps. She could only take shallow breaths. His breathing became very shallow.

Noun

we waded through the shallows looking for tadpoles
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Lee’s body was discovered in Baltimore’s Leakin Park by a passerby, partially buried in a shallow grave. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "A Complete Timeline of The Case Against Adnan Syed," 31 Mar. 2019 In a shallow bowl, whisk together cornstarch and flour. Gabriella Gershenson, WSJ, "The Greatest New Year’s Menus on the Planet (at Least We Think So)," 26 Dec. 2018 In a shallow bowl, combine rice cereal, Parmesan, and remaining tablespoon oil. Redbook Test Kitchen, Redbook, "Cereal-Coated Chicken Parmesan," 15 Aug. 2018 The low point of the Friant-Kern Canal, near Terra Bella, doesn’t resemble a crevice or even a shallow bowl. Dale Kasler And Phillip Reese, sacbee, "The Valley floor is sinking, and it’s crippling California’s ability to deliver water," 13 July 2018 To serve, ladle the soup into individual shallow bowls. Ellie Krieger, charlotteobserver, "This dessert could be cooler than ice cream on a hot day," 3 July 2018 In a second shallow bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, salt, and cayenne. Sally Pasley Vargas, BostonGlobe.com, "Recipe: Crispy soft-shell crabs and chipotle mayo fill these po’ boy sandwiches," 18 June 2018 Place egg and buttermilk in a separate shallow bowl or dish; whisk to combine. Kim Sunée, Anchorage Daily News, "Green (that is, unripe) tomatoes can be delicious pickled, preserved or – you guessed it – fried," 14 June 2018 Place the cooked rice in a shallow, wide, nonreactive bowl. Chronicle Staff, San Francisco Chronicle, "4 recipes from now-closed Terra in St. Helena," 11 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The nearshore shallows offered easy travels and a mix of aquatic plant life unfamiliar to us. Colin Diltz, The Seattle Times, "Reader’s Lens | Paddling Lake Ozette," 11 Sep. 2018 Courtney Abbott’s two-out bloop single to shallow right fell just beyond an outstretched Lexy Wright, allowing Katie Templeman to race in from third for the walk-off victory. Steve Bittenbender, The Courier-Journal, "Butler ends its 11-year drought and takes home Sixth Region title," 1 June 2018 Kassandra Espinosa tripled deep down the right-field line and Bridgette Tuxbury drove her home with a single to shallow left. David Furones, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Cooper City tops St. Thomas Aquinas in extras to advance to states," 12 May 2018 With Cole facing Daniel Descalso, Reddick had to race in for a fly ball hit to shallow left. Bob Mcmanaman, azcentral, "Astros' Gerrit Cole flirts with no-hitter, pitches a gem in rout of Diamondbacks," 4 May 2018 Bonzon reached first on a blooper to shallow left field and managed to score shortly after on a throwing error. Kyle Mcfadden, Howard County Times, "Chapelgate softball gets past Pallotti to remain undefeated in conference play," 1 May 2018 But Kela struck out Kyle Seager, Ichiro and got Dee Gordon to pop out to shallow left to end the game. Ryan Divish, The Seattle Times, "Mariners can’t complete sweep of Rangers after Erasmo Ramirez puts them in early hole," 22 Apr. 2018 The first came in the fifth inning, when Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon popped a ball up to shallow leftfield. Jon Tayler, SI.com, "Sean Manaea Stuns Everyone by No-Hitting Baseball's Best Team," 22 Apr. 2018 Brown would walk the perimeter of the pond, peering into the translucent shallows to gaze at the fish. Ferris Jabr, Smithsonian, "It’s Official: Fish Feel Pain," 8 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Not only has erosion behind the breakwater of terraces and islands and reef ceased; the shoreline is beginning to repair itself, with oystergrass growing in the shallows. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "Cow Trap Lake Project a success on multiple levels," 10 May 2018 The shallows seem too warm and sleepy to bother raising a wave. Horatio Clare, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why You Should Go to Belize Now," 21 Dec. 2018 Wait till dark, switch on head lamps, and wander into the shallows. Carl Zimmer, New York Times, "This Mutant Crayfish Clones Itself, and It’s Taking Over Europe," 5 Feb. 2018 Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life, Is bound in shallows and in miseries. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Nuggets from the passing parade," 17 Aug. 2018 Tourists flanked the animals in the shallows, tossing up buckets of water for their daily baths. Patrick Scott, WSJ, "Should Tourists Ride Elephants in Thailand?," 10 Aug. 2018 After a snorkel session exploring the healthy reefs, most of our group lolled in the shallows for a dip. New York Times, "Want to See the Wild Side of Cuba? Try a Kayak," 16 May 2018 The spawn is winding toward a conclusion, but both the smaller buck bass and the larger females are likely to remain in the shallows for another week or so guarding the fry and feeding. Joe Songer, AL.com, "See video of a turkey hunter calling up a bobcat," 30 Apr. 2018 That one pool has produced largemouth bass weighing more than 6 pounds, most of them exploding on topwater plugs fished in the shaded shallows. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "Catch the good times rolling on the rivers," 12 May 2018

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

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First Known Use of shallow

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1510, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Noun

1569, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for shallow

Adjective

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

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Learn More about shallow

Dictionary Entries near shallow

shalloon

shallop

shallot

shallow

shallowish

shallow-pate

shallu

Statistics for shallow

Last Updated

19 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shallow

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

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More Definitions for shallow

shallow

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of shallow

: 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
disapproving : not caring about or involving serious or important things

shallow

adjective
shal·​low | \ ˈsha-lō How to pronounce shallow (audio) \
shallower; shallowest

Kids Definition of shallow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : not deep a shallow stream
2 : taking in small amounts of air shallow breaths
3 : showing little knowledge, thought, or feeling They're shallow people only interested in money.

Other Words from shallow

shallowness noun

shallow

noun

Kids Definition of shallow (Entry 2 of 2)

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

shallow

adjective
shal·​low | \ ˈshal-(ˌ)ō, -ə(-w) How to pronounce shallow (audio) \

Medical Definition of shallow

: displacing comparatively little air shallow breathing

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More from Merriam-Webster on shallow

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shallow

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shallow

Spanish Central: Translation of shallow

Nglish: Translation of shallow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shallow for Arabic Speakers

Comments on shallow

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