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

facile, one-dimensional, skin-deep, superficial

Synonyms: Noun

ford, shoal

Antonyms: Adjective

deep, profound

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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

Both the prostate and this front wall are typically located about two to three inches inside the body on the belly side, so angle the insertable up and toward the belly at a medium-to-shallow depth to stimulate them. Zoë Ligon, Allure, "9 Things You Need to Know Before You Have Anal," 5 Nov. 2018 Compared to Apple's pre-2015 laptops, the new keys travel a very shallow distance, which requires you to adjust to a gentler keystroke to save your fingertips from stabbing into the plastic as the keys rapidly bottom out. Alexander George, Popular Mechanics, "So, About That Retina Macbook Air Keyboard," 30 Oct. 2018 Modeling in this moment seems superficial, just shallow. Isobella Jade, SELF, "Carrying My Father's Memory, and His Coffee Cup," 18 Oct. 2018 This modern thing, where everyone is feeling shallow and less connected? Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "12 Celebrities Who Talk About Mental Health," 10 Oct. 2018 Her method requires things to be stored vertically — even clothes are folded into little packets, so they can be stored like file folders in dresser drawers — which was a particular challenge for Caboodles’ shallow shelves. Candace Braun Davison, House Beautiful, "Can Marie Kondo Conquer Caboodles?," 17 Aug. 2018 From the bottom center to the low edge of the image, two main rilles, or shallow grooves, are visible. Miguel Claro, Space.com, "See the Moon in All Its Cratered, Groovy Glory (Photo)," 25 July 2018 The goal of macroeconomic stabilization is to make sure that recessions are rare, shallow, and short. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The Great Recession was awful. And we don’t have a plan to stop the next one.," 16 Oct. 2018 The 2016-era MacBook Pro redesign does a lot of things well, but its minimalist port selection and stiff, shallow, and (heretofore) failure-prone keyboards remain polarizing two years later. Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica, "macOS 10.14 Mojave: The Ars Technica review," 24 Sep. 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

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 Best lures have been Choo Choo Shakers and swimjigs in the grassy shallows and Scroungers along deeper areas, Carter said. Frank Sargeant, AL.com, "Friday Fishing Report," 12 Apr. 2018 Almost instantly, a wave doubled up on the shallows, sucked me backwards over the falls, and sent me bouncing up the sand. Jeff Johnson, Outside Online, "Jeff Johnson on the First Time He Saved a Life," 11 July 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

1 Dec 2018

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

: 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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