shallow

adjective
shal·​low | \ ˈsha-(ˌ)lō \

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 , -​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

But that's only touching the surface—or shallow, as Gaga's character, Ally, would say. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Spending $100 to See A Star Is Born 8 Times Is My Self-Care," 11 Jan. 2019 Our delve into Solanas’ mind feels shallow, with memories from her past simply glancing moments during the production. Lauren Delgado, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Review: 'SCUM: A Manifesto' - Orlando Fringe 2018," 17 May 2018 After nearly 24 hours under sedation at IU Health Methodist Hospital, Heichelbech remembered the relief of taking that first, albeit shallow, breath. Holly V. Hays, Indianapolis Star, "Cystic fibrosis, lung transplant — she was never supposed to be a ‘mama.’ But she is.," 9 May 2018 The girls' bodies were found submerged in an oil tank, and Shanann Watts' body was found in a shallow grave. Kathleen Foody, Fox News, "Prosecutors aim to keep how Colorado mom, girls died secret," 18 Sep. 2018 The shallow hole is not much of an oil well by today’s standards. Claudia Capos, BostonGlobe.com, "Black gold fever: Canada celebrates its 160-year oil heritage," 24 Apr. 2018 The remains were buried in a shallow hole and the Lorain County coroner's office identified them through tattoos and dental records. Cory Shaffer, cleveland.com, "Elyria man sentenced for killing Tierra Bryant, who tried to pepper-spray and rob him," 9 Apr. 2018 Sapsuckers peck shallow holes in the bark in a pattern of regular rows, which causes the sap to bleed out. Contributing Writer, NOLA.com, "Will it fit a state-of-the-art TV? 8 tips for upgrading an outdated entertainment center," 19 Feb. 2018 White bass - fair lake wide on shallow crankbaits, jigs and minnows. Tyler Mahoney Special To The Star, kansascity, "Fishing report: Catfish action picking up in Kansas, Missouri lakes," 11 July 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

10 Feb 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 \
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) \

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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