deep·​en ˈdē-pən How to pronounce deepen (audio)
deepened; deepening ˈdē-pə-niŋ How to pronounce deepen (audio)

transitive verb

: to make deep or deeper

intransitive verb

: to become deeper or more profound

Examples of deepen in a Sentence

They deepened the river so that larger boats could sail through. Age had deepened the lines in his face. The water deepens toward the center of the river. Her powerful words deepened our commitment to the cause. The vacation together deepened their relationship with each other. The mystery was deepened by her silence. This class will deepen your understanding of economics. Living in the country's capital had deepened her knowledge of politics. See More
Recent Examples on the Web The crisis was punctuated by glimmers of hope — and deepening gloom. Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times, 22 Nov. 2023 The saga over the leadership of OpenAI has deepened the parallels between Altman and Steve Jobs, who quit Apple in 1985 after its board marginalized him. Kevin Roose, New York Times, 21 Nov. 2023 The multi-billion dollar investment from Microsoft earlier this year deepened a longstanding relationship between Microsoft and OpenAI, which began with a $1 billion investment from the tech giant four years ago. Max Zahn, ABC News, 21 Nov. 2023 He’s used their conversations to deepen his understanding of the community. Nicholas Dawidoff, The New Yorker, 18 Nov. 2023 The rally comes at a time of deepening conflict in the Israel-Gaza war and escalating protests in the nation’s capital and elsewhere. Ellie Silverman, Washington Post, 17 Nov. 2023 Pink missiles with daisies As the humanitarian crisis deepens, once mundane activities such as taking a shower, eating a sweet, or drinking a glass of clean water have become dreams to many people here. Ghada Abdulfattah, The Christian Science Monitor, 14 Nov. 2023 Without doubt, the insight into the history of the brand that this book provides will deepen any Johnnie Walker fan's appreciation of the whisky. Mark Littler, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023 His bewilderment deepened after he was brought into custody and asked to describe his whereabouts during the week of the bus incident. Eyal Press, The New Yorker, 13 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'deepen.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1600, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of deepen was in 1600

Dictionary Entries Near deepen

Cite this Entry

“Deepen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


deep·​en ˈdē-pən How to pronounce deepen (audio)
deepened; deepening ˈdēp-(ə-)niŋ How to pronounce deepen (audio)
: to make or become deep or deeper

More from Merriam-Webster on deepen

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