- The definition of shallow is something that is not deep or someone who is concerned only about silly or inconsequential things.
- An example of shallow is a hole that is only an inch deep.
- An example of shallow is a person who only cares about someone's looks and how much money they have.
- not deep: a shallow lake
- lacking depth of character, intellect, or meaning; superficial
- slight; weak: shallow breathing
Origin of shallowMiddle English shalow ; from Old English an unverified form scealw ; from Indo-European base an unverified form (s)kel-, to dry out from source shoal, Classical Greek skellein
- Measuring little from bottom to top or surface; lacking physical depth.
- Lacking depth of intellect, emotion, or knowledge: “This is a shallow parody of America” (Lloyd Rose).
- Marked by insufficient inhalation of air; weak: shallow respirations.
- In the part of a playing area that is closer to home plate: shallow left field.
tr. & intr.v.shal·lowed, shal·low·ing, shal·lows
Origin of shallowMiddle English schalowe.
(comparative shallower, superlative shallowest)
- Having little depth; significantly less deep than wide.
- This crater is relatively shallow.
- Saute the onions in a shallow pan.
- Extending not far downward.
- The water is shallow here.
- Concerned mainly with superficial matters.
- It was a glamorous but shallow lifestyle.
- Lacking interest or substance.
- The acting is good, but the characters are shallow.
- Not intellectually deep; not penetrating deeply; simple; not wise or knowing.
- shallow learning
- (tennis) Not far forward, close to the net
- A shallow portion of an otherwise deep body of water.
- The ship ran aground in an unexpected shallow.
- A fish, the rudd.
- Usually used in the plural form.
(third-person singular simple present shallows, present participle shallowing, simple past and past participle shallowed)
- To make or become less deep
From Middle English schalowe (“not deep, shallow"); apparently related to Old English sceald (“shallow"). See also shoal.