Synonyms & Antonyms of shallow

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 lacking significant physical depth
  • the dog quickly dug a shallow hole that was barely deep enough to accommodate his bone

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Antonyms for shallow

2 having or showing a lack of depth of understanding or character
  • he was a shallow person who rarely cared about anything but his earthly possessions and keeping up appearances

Synonyms for shallow

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Antonyms for shallow



Synonyms & Antonyms of shallow (Entry 2 of 2)

usually shallows plural a place where a body of water (as a sea or river) is shallow
  • we waded through the shallows looking for tadpoles

Synonyms for shallow

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Frequently Asked Questions About shallow

How does the adjective shallow contrast with its synonyms?

The words cursory and superficial are common synonyms of shallow. While all three words mean "lacking in depth or solidity," shallow is more generally derogatory in implying lack of depth in knowledge, reasoning, emotions, or character.

a light, shallow, and frivolous review

In what contexts can cursory take the place of shallow?

While in some cases nearly identical to shallow, cursory suggests a lack of thoroughness or a neglect of details.

gave the letter only a cursory reading

When is it sensible to use superficial instead of shallow?

The synonyms superficial and shallow are sometimes interchangeable, but superficial implies a concern only with surface aspects or obvious features.

a superficial analysis of the problem

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Time Traveler for shallow

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Shallow.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on shallow

Nglish: Translation of shallow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shallow for Arabic Speakers


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