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

Sammy’s problem might have been one ear is too shallow for the wings to securely grip on to. Geoffrey A. Fowler, The Denver Post, "The best way to review wireless earbuds is to have Sammy Hagar headbang with them," 7 July 2019 Like the characters on the show, for whom nothing was too shallow or insignificant or superficial to ignore, the audience was fully engaged in the minutiae. Matthew Gilbert, BostonGlobe.com, "With ‘Seinfeld,’ the devilishness was in the details," 27 June 2019 The high temperatures means glaciers will likely shrink further, increasing the likelihood that the Rhine will again be too shallow for shipping later this year, according to Switzerland’s federal weather agency. William Walsh, Fortune, "Europe's Scorching Heatwave Forces Germany to Impose Autobahn Speed Limits," 26 June 2019 While some wells are shallow with water under the surface, some can reach 600 feet deep. Joshua Bowling, azcentral, "Arizona searches for wells to prevent a potential ‘Baby Jessica’ tragedy. Here’s what you can do," 23 June 2019 The earthquakes were shallow, all reported to be about 6 miles deep. oregonlive.com, "Magnitude 5.4 earthquake reported off Oregon coast," 22 June 2019 The areas searched are as shallow as 8 feet deep but extend to 40 feet in some areas. Christopher Harress | Charress@al.com, al.com, "Missing diver’s body found in Mobile County creek after two day search," 14 June 2019 With a capacity of 2 million barrels, these giant tankers currently only can be partly loaded at the nearby Port of Corpus Christi, where the water is shallower. Randy Diamond, ExpressNews.com, "King Ranch Backed Study Says Off-Shore Tanker Loading Facility 12 Miles From South Padre Island Is Safe," 14 June 2019 While the Rio Grande is shallow in some areas, other parts dip without warning to a depth of eight feet. New York Times, "Death on the Rio Grande: A Look at a Perilous Migrant Route," 8 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Pinch-hitter Ryan Braun flied out to shallow right but Tyler Saladino walked to load the bases. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 8, Reds 6: Christian Yelich becomes first player in club history with 30 HRs before break," 1 July 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Officials advise visitors to shuffle their feet while wading in the shallows in order to avoid stepping on any stingrays. Alexa Díaz, latimes.com, "Beachgoers beware: 4th of July to bring dangerous rip currents, threat of stingrays," 3 July 2019 The waters are growing shallow, beating angrily against the ship as we near Arida. David Canfield, EW.com, "First look: Next year's biggest YA fantasy could be All the Stars and Teeth," 2 July 2019 From the coast, Captain Bobby Abruscato reports plenty of nice trout in the shallows in the first hours of daylight, with some bigger fish on topwaters in lower Mobile Bay and Mississippi Sound. Frank Sargeant, al.com, "Friday Fishing Report: Bass are biting at Lake Guntersville," 21 June 2019 Further exemplifying that point is a different, equally odd worm-like critter that lives in the shallows on the other side of the planet. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "These Two Newly Described Worms Have Really Strange, Yet Marvelous Butts," 21 June 2019 Stop at watering holes for close-up views of bathing elephants, zebras drinking at the water’s edge, and hartebeests splashing in the shallows. National Geographic, "Namibia High School Expedition," 17 June 2019 Our lodge uses electric safari vehicles, allowing us to silently observe the myriad creatures splashing and scuffling in the shallows. National Geographic, "Africa by Private Jet," 12 June 2019 Dolphins quickly herd large schools of mullet towards the people, who wait with nets in the shallows, and once the the dolphins begin to dive, the fishermen throw their nets in, disorienting the fish, which benefits the dolphins as well. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Our love of dolphins is not always good for them," 8 June 2019 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

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

14 Jul 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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