Definition of depth in English:

depth

noun

  • 1The distance from the top or surface to the bottom of something:

    ‘water of no more than 12 feet in depth’
    • ‘Phill and I walked out into the surf to about 2 foot depth and scoured the surf from shore to about 30 yards out for signs of feeding tarpon.’
    • ‘It is in waters that can be very hostile and is 3,000m below the seabed which, itself, is at a depth of 350 metres making recovery of the gas a difficult and expensive task.’
    • ‘The new harbour area now being created will be dredged to a depth of four metres and will provide much-needed space for the increasing number of fishing boats using the old harbour.’
    • ‘Water depth was measured at all study sites at 4-8 d intervals between May 19 and June 17.’
    • ‘Wading usually is easy over a gravel bottom of predictable depth and flow, with ample room for backcasts.’
    • ‘What is the condition of the bottom and depth of soft mud in that berth?’
    • ‘The feeling within the club is that a depth of 1.5 metres is neither adequate nor entirely safe.’
    • ‘The lakes are clear with an average depth of about 4ft with a whole range of different types of water lily.’
    • ‘Land earmarked for new homes could be flooded to a depth of nearly ten feet if major rainfall swelled a ‘main river’ flowing through the site, it was revealed today’
    • ‘The mind is attracted to complex issues which resound with profundity and emotional depth.’
    • ‘The shallow end is far too deep: in excess of 1.5 meters in depth, more than four feet nine inches, a depth too deep for a school pool.’
    • ‘You will also probably know the average depth, the surface area, the age of the lake and when it was last emptied.’
    • ‘Again, one's perceptions of surface and depth were uncertain.’
    • ‘He thought he swam about one hundred yards before testing the river's depth again, this time with better result.’
    • ‘The creek was beautiful, crystal clear with an average depth of three feet, flowing through some lovely countryside.’
    • ‘This is another small river, embanked for all of its length, with a depth of up to 5 feet.’
    • ‘Saul reported that based on the mollusks, the maximum water depth of the sandstone was 35 meters.’
    • ‘Its crater is 525 meters X 425 meters in diameter, and has a depth of between 47.5 meters and 195 meters.’
    • ‘The ice thickness and snow depth varied from 0.5 to 1.3 m and from 1 to 9 cm, respectively.’
    • ‘The sea digs a channel near the beach and this channel can be any depth, length or width.’
    • ‘Pots were PVC cylinders, 20 cm diameter and 50 cm depth, sealed at the bottom.’
    deepness, distance downwards, distance inwards, distance from the outside
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The distance from the front to the back of something:
      ‘the depth of the wardrobe’
      • ‘In order to permit the outer frame to open without hitting the wall, I measured the outside depth of the back frame.’
      • ‘The hood is a separate panel that adds depth to the front section, and ties the fenders, greenhouse and nose together.’
      • ‘A clever carpenter can address variations in worktop depth and even surface heights, but even slender vertical gaps between units are bad news.’
      • ‘It may be necessary to trim the depth of the worktop to suit your overall finished depth, bearing in mind that an overhang over the base units is normal.’
      • ‘Your focal point is visually eye-level, straight ahead in the depth of the room, or the opposite wall.’
      • ‘Despite all that the Nazi forces breached the Voronezh Front to the depth of 30-35 kilometers.’
      • ‘As a general rule, the depth of the worktop should be a minimum of 24” deep.’
      • ‘The size and depth of rear garden areas are generous, and are particularly so in respect of those associated with Nos 6 and 8 of the Road.’
      • ‘There are two more bedrooms on the second floor, one of which runs the depth of the house from front to rear and has a bird's eye view of the river and the city.’
      • ‘She can use the whole depth of the cupboard with ease.’
      • ‘Upstairs, the property's largest bedroom runs the depth of the house, has views over both the front and back gardens and includes a good sized fitted cupboard.’
      • ‘Measure your shelf, or the depth of the wardrobe. Write a list of what you're looking for and carry this list and measurements with you.’
      • ‘White paint makes it much more difficult to judge where the ceiling actually is in relation to the floor, thus increasing the apparent depth of the room.’
      • ‘If you have a deeper television set, the depth of the tabletop may also come into play.’
      • ‘It was unsurpassed in the length of the front, depth of the advance and retreat, duration of continuous fighting, and the size of the armies on each side.’
    2. 1.2 The distance from the top or surface of something to a specified lower point within it:
      [in singular] ‘loosen the soil to a depth of 8 inches’
      • ‘Replicates of 16 seeds were sown on the sand surface or at a depth of 10 mm in short pots.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, models suggest that a global groundwater system could exist on Mars today at a depth of several kilometers below the surface.’
      • ‘An additional advantage of this method is that UV-B irradiance can be determined at any depth within a leaf.’
      • ‘The anomalously high temperatures are assumed to extend down from the surface to 200 km depth, where they join the normal geotherm.’
      • ‘The depth of seeds within the soil during the germination and emergence periods may ultimately be the factor that restricts emergence between beds.’
      • ‘The current is of such high frequency that it flows along the metal surface to a depth of several thousandths of an inch.’
      • ‘All stone and other deleterious material larger than 3 inches shall be buried to a depth of not less than 24 inches or such other depth as may be agreed with the Local Planning Authority.’
      • ‘The cage was lowered by winch and wire rope to a depth of 5m, just deep enough to escape the surface surge and swell.’
      • ‘Villagers dug out the land up to a depth of three to five feet and follow ‘shift digging techniques’ if the raw material is exhausted at a particular place.’
      • ‘The fires penetrated into the dried-out surface peat to a depth of up to 1.5 metres.’
      • ‘First, the earthquake occurred near the earth's surface, at a depth of approximately eleven kilometers.’
      • ‘Then, aerate the lawn by pushing the prongs of a garden fork into the soil to a depth of 6in, and repeat at 9in intervals, to loosen up any compacted soil.’
      • ‘Charioteers would steer towards their targets with just their head and shoulders above water until, 60 feet out, they would dive to a depth of about 30 feet.’
      • ‘The depth they cruise at varies between the surface and the bottom.’
      • ‘A depth of 1 ft was found most suitable for ground-water quality control.’
      • ‘A retractable floor in the learner pool raises and lowers to a depth of 2.5metres and it has a pioneering access system with platforms and lifts for the disabled.’
      • ‘Nitrogen concentration can be twice as high at the 14-foot depth than near the surface.’
      • ‘The sediment within the quadrat was excavated to a depth of 15 cm and sieved through a 4-mm mesh.’
      • ‘The aquifer extends down to a depth of 300m below land surface.’
      • ‘You can go underwater for two hours to a depth of up to 50 metres - and be well within the sub's safety limits.’
    3. 1.3 The apparent existence of three dimensions in a picture or other two-dimensional representation:
      ‘texture in a picture gives it depth’
      • ‘He has lavished colours on his canvases, but has blended hues subtly in an attempt to give a new dimension and depth to the works.’
      • ‘By throwing near-by objects out of focus, as it were, Vermeer suggested depth with a device more subtle than the standard practice of making them markedly lighter or darker than what is behind.’
      • ‘As a result, one is free to contemplate the pure painterly richness and depth of each work.’
      • ‘A light gray deepens to a gleaming anthracite, giving volume and depth to the image.’
      • ‘And instead of adding depth to the work, the pattern appears merely decorative, like wallpaper.’
      • ‘With so many majestic shots and brilliant cinematography, I wanted more depth and dimensionality from the transfer.’
      • ‘John himself hand-colors or antiques the enlarged picture, adding beauty, dimension and depth.’
      • ‘She explained to her guests that she put the spots of paint over the top of her framed images in order to create an illusion of depth and dimension.’
      • ‘The intensity of colour tones, from light to shade and then dark gives depth and added dimension to the picture.’
      • ‘The landscape background applied the effect of aerial perspective to create depth.’
      • ‘Picasso is not interested in describing tone, depth, or form.’
      • ‘Showy but not slick, the work has a new painterly depth and dimension that take it beyond the surface.’
      • ‘The most popular is selenium toner, which deepens the blacks and shadow areas of the print, adding depth and dimension.’
      • ‘In order to provide a sense of depth on a two-dimensional display, the system generates two separate images, one for the right eye and one for the left.’
      • ‘While the image does have some minor degree of over enhancement in spots, it is, overall, a solid picture full of depth and detail.’
      • ‘The sharp, crisp brushwork for which he is known conveys a sense of depth, shadow and light and pattern and texture.’
      • ‘But the town scene was placed in the foreground to achieve a strong decorative effect and to add depth to the picture.’
      • ‘But along with such enduring classics, subtle patterns are being used to add depth and dimension.’
      • ‘No matter what method is used, paint can be applied to the finished product to mimic the brushstrokes of the original work and enhance the visual depth of the transfer.’
      • ‘In order to create depth and dimension, the principle of overlapping is taught and used now.’
  • 2The quality of being intense or extreme:

    ‘he was surprised by the depth of Eloise's vindictiveness’
    ‘the government failed to understand the depth of the problems’
    • ‘He chooses his roles, he says, based on the quality, depth and intelligence of the script.’
    • ‘The guitar and bass gave the sound real mod attitude, while the backing vocals added as much soul as the keyboards offered depth and quality to the experience.’
    • ‘We always had a connection with intense depth to it.’
    • ‘The big battles, astonishingly, feel flat and the whole movie lacks emotional depth.’
    • ‘He takes us on an emotional roller coaster, but does not explore much depth of feelings or insight.’
    • ‘However, as dark films go, this one lacked the depth of despair and pathos usually achieved.’
    • ‘The magnitude and range of this early work was remarkable, as was its depth and quality.’
    • ‘The less tangible aspects such as trust and the quality and depth of relationships are almost impossible to measure.’
    • ‘They are frivolous and shallow, lacking emotional depth and attracted only to the superficial.’
    • ‘But the emotional, sensual depth and quality of the film truly distinguishes it from the pack.’
    • ‘But reading the book provides a greater depth of sympathetic understanding.’
    • ‘If more of us could demonstrate the same depth of compassion and understanding, we would be better equipped to help those vulnerable to heroin's promise of a quick fix.’
    • ‘The group wanted to meet managers to make clear the depth of their feelings.’
    • ‘And my favourite unsung big budget film is ‘Unbreakable’, which I love for its understated quality and the depth of its silences.’
    • ‘His rare lyrical quality bears emotional depth without sickly sweetness, and sly humour without jokey or ironic irritants.’
    • ‘The music here is rooted in this particular religion: this accounts for its warmth, depth and subtly uplifting quality.’
    1. 2.1 Complexity and profundity of thought:
      ‘the book has unexpected depth’
      • ‘Their relationship is given just enough depth by the complexities of his character and his mysterious past, which is a thankful foil to her sweet naivete at times.’
      • ‘Novelty is not synonymous with depth and profundity of insight.’
      • ‘Be advised that the theoretical intricacy and intellectual depth in this book do not make for an easy read, but readers will find that the journey is worth the effort.’
      • ‘While fulfilling the page-turning requirements of the mystery novel, she also creates characters who have moral complexity and depth.’
      • ‘The character of the discussions were more palimpsestic than immediately dialectical, but no less valuable in their complexity and depth.’
      • ‘The characters have depth, the story has a good pace, the scenarios are sufficiently complex to add depth without being either too predictable or obscure, and its funny in places.’
      • ‘The humorlessness, self-importance, and complete lack of depth were horrifying but entertaining.’
      • ‘Had he known more about the archive he would appreciate that its scale, complexity and depth are unique: much is of real interest to the public, and many parts are unexplored by researchers.’
      • ‘However, each person's input at the activation point, and later interactions with it, have added depth and complexity to the original, so it would not be the same now, as it was.’
      • ‘Given the importance of her topic and the crucial questions she raises, I wish her book had more depth and complexity.’
      • ‘It is non-linear and uses three forms of communication to convey varying depth and complexity.’
      • ‘It is essential that we strive for a deeper understanding of the complexities facing us and that our message reflect this depth and complexity.’
      • ‘We think that as leaders we are supposed to show gravitas: depth, profundity.’
      • ‘Therefore, their writing becomes abstract and lacks concrete and complex depth.’
      • ‘None of the characters is written with substantial depth or complexity, so none of the actors has a terribly daunting task.’
      • ‘But the strength of the movie lies in its psychological complexity and depth.’
      • ‘The level of curriculum for gifted learners must be adapted to their needs for advancement, depth, and complexity.’
      • ‘The complexity and depth of these scholars' individual accounts of the sultana have varied according to her relevance to their respective works.’
      • ‘But I probably have spoken enough of this element since any real depth is completely overshadowed by the comedy.’
      • ‘Probably the book could do with more of that kind of assistance, but that would bring up another trade-off with completeness and analytical depth.’
      profoundness, profundity, deepness, wisdom, understanding, intelligence, sagacity, discernment, perceptiveness, penetration, perspicuity, insight, awareness, intuition, astuteness, acumen, shrewdness, acuity
      complexity, intricacy, profoundness, profundity, gravity, seriousness, weight, importance, moment, solemnity
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2 Extensive and detailed study or knowledge:
      ‘third-year courses typically go into more depth’
      • ‘They have been chosen for their depth of knowledge across a variety of musical genres.’
      • ‘The depth of knowledge required to follow the implications and consequences of such broad and far reaching policies is intimidating.’
      • ‘His professionalism, depth of knowledge, and kindness made him an inspiration to amateurs and professionals alike.’
      • ‘These reviews were masterly not only in terms of style but depth of musical knowledge.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, he persevered and is highly regarded for the breadth and depth of his literary knowledge.’
      • ‘Members of any profession require wide knowledge and depth of experience the relevance of some of which might not have been obvious at the time of learning.’
      • ‘And it represented a great spirit, energy and depth of collective knowledge.’
      • ‘This depth of study, however, is beyond the scope of the present paper and will but be touched upon.’
      • ‘Mike should be congratulated on his detailed research, and depth of knowledge and compelling style of presentation.’
      • ‘The expertise of physicians and psychologists in their respective fields is not always matched by their depth of knowledge of ethics.’
      • ‘Critics have poked holes in her arguments, alleging that her renowned depth of knowledge is shockingly shallow.’
      • ‘Questions were asked about the quantity and depth of repertoire studied.’
      • ‘The historical depth of this study enriches our understanding of a region undergoing religious transition.’
      • ‘It deserves full marks for its courage, depth of knowledge and research.’
      • ‘It would also be a good time to pay tribute to him, for his insight, industry and great depth of knowledge.’
      • ‘Even the most knowledgeable homeowner lacks the training and depth of knowledge that only a professional home inspector provides.’
      • ‘I had first hand experience of the breadth and depth of his knowledge.’
      • ‘I have the chance to study it in great depth and to experience things in their original context as much as is possible in modern times.’
      • ‘It is a lively, thriving collection of diverse women whose depth of knowledge and experience never fails to amaze me, but who are kind and supportive and above all very practical.’
      • ‘The passion and depth of knowledge is really quite staggering.’
      extent, range, scope, breadth, width, extensiveness, comprehensiveness
      View synonyms
  • 3Intensity of colour:

    ‘strong lighting will accentuate the depth of colour’
    • ‘‘I use my oil colours like water colours, in diluted form, layer after layer to bring more depth to the colour,’ he says.’
    • ‘It is a beautiful screen, clean, crisp and sharp, so steady you'd not believe and with a depth and clarity of colour that takes my breath away.’
    • ‘This can usually be done by changing the colour depth to a ‘grayscale’ setting, or by setting the hue/colour saturation to zero.’
    • ‘The depth of colour is determined by the temperature and length of time the skins are allowed to macerate, and this is up to the winemaker.’
    • ‘The uneven depth of colour, as in all these works, adds a flickering dimension to the work, form flexing in and out of light like a half-grasped memory.’
    • ‘The repeated process of dyeing and waxing opens up endless possibilities for creating depth of colour and texture.’
    • ‘Like an intricate pattern it drew me into its depth of line and colour.’
    • ‘It's going to take me a while to get used to it and start making pictures with it but I am already impressed beyond words with the colour depth.’
    • ‘One reason why there is so much fast memory on videocards is because textures, and colour depth eats up a lot of bandwidth.’
    • ‘Set your preferred resolution, and your colour depth.’
    • ‘The higher the colour depth and greater the refresh rate the better your viewing enjoyment will be.’
    • ‘Photos viewed on the player look great, with high colour accuracy and depth.’
    • ‘It looks like we have a long way to go before we can cheerfully mix images and cell backgrounds using any colour over every colour depth.’
    • ‘In effect, silver will accent and add depth to primary colors.’
    • ‘Tone until the required depth of colour is seen in the shadows, but remember that the lighter image tones will eventually start to colour.’
    • ‘I have spent days looking at the stone, it has such depth to the colour.’
    • ‘Although the depth of petal colour will vary, it is usually a deep shade of maroon, brown or near black.’
    • ‘The depth of colour was greater with increasing supply of iron.’
    • ‘You can also configure the amount of system memory used for the graphics, with more memory allowing for greater colour depth.’
    • ‘It is one of a number of still-lifes painted by the artist in the late 1950s and early 1960s, using a similar heavy impasto and depth of colour.’
    intensity, richness, deepness, darkness, vividness, strength, brilliance
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  • 4the depthsA point far below the surface:

    ‘he lifted the manhole cover and peered into the depths beneath’
    • ‘As for subject matter, he feels that everything from the stars above to the depths of the ocean below is suitable for the show.’
    • ‘The fish turned away right at our feet and vanished into the depths.’
    • ‘The instant I let go, it darted into the depths and vanished, as if nothing had happened.’
    • ‘With one last wave, the siren gracefully fell off of the side and into the depths below, disappearing into the shadows of the sea.’
    • ‘Their eyes got very large as something massive drifted through the depths beneath them.’
    • ‘Michael hobbled over in time to see her fall into the depths below.’
    • ‘Occasionally they even pluck a walrus, beluga whale, or narwhal from the watery depths below the pack ice.’
    • ‘To his horror, a car violently plunges off the bridge and sinks into the murky depths of the water below.’
    • ‘Have you ever made a free-ascent to the surface from the depths at which you dive, or do you carry an adequate redundant air supply?’
    • ‘The daylight that penetrated the depths illuminated a hitherto unseen and strange world.’
    • ‘An endearing memory is surfacing from the depths to see Mike and Joe wearing their masks, facing each other separated by about three metres.’
    • ‘I wanted to dive deep enough into the self to regard its surface aspects from the infinite depths beneath it.’
    • ‘Another unique feature of sea power is that modern navies operate not only on the surface of the ocean, but in the depths below it and the air above it.’
    • ‘Inside, churning, molten rock is found in the depths to the core.’
    • ‘Little sunlight reaches these depths, and the surface seems far away.’
    • ‘In the field on top of the brow was a ventilation shaft which descended to the depths of the coal pit below.’
    • ‘A probe, with a plutonium core, could be sent there to land on and melt through thin ice into the depths below.’
    • ‘I saw it move off into the depths, way below me, when I was at 36m in wonderfully clear water in the early '80s.’
    • ‘At the edge of the reef, I had a clear memory from my day-dives of the yawning depths of the Pacific below me.’
    • ‘They cut the mast and sails loose and watched as it vanished into the depths below.’
    deepest part, remotest area, bottom, floor, bed, abyss, back, pit
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1 A time considered to be the worst point within a bad period:
      ‘4 a.m. in the depths of winter’
      • ‘We today huddle together at its heart where in the depths of winter it sometimes seems that it will never rise again.’
      • ‘Although you will be ready for this during the depths of winter, keeping warm can be very relevant to UK divers at any time of year.’
      • ‘And while the bar obviously has its quiet nights in the depths of winter, there is still quite a lot going on even then.’
      • ‘With the great weather we have been enjoying over recent times it may be difficult to cast your minds back into the depths of winter but please try for just a moment.’
      • ‘There is shore fishing all year round, but if you want a chance at the best fish, think of going in late Autumn and right into the depths of winter.’
      • ‘IT'S foolish, when you think about it, that we make our New Year resolutions in the depths of winter, when we're least able to see them through.’
      • ‘In the depths of winter it should not be hard to understand the plight of homeless teenagers.’
      • ‘But, even in the depths of winter, an almost missed glimpse of a well-maintained front garden can put the hint of a smile on one's face.’
      • ‘Have you noticed how you can always buy melons, even in the depths of winter?’
      • ‘There is nothing heroic about sitting in a small, cold room in the depths of winter as you get through your eight or ten hour shift as part of a lonely factory occupation.’
      • ‘The month started in the depths of winter and ends with a distinct flavour of spring.’
      • ‘Maybe that is because he chose to visit the town in the depths of winter.’
      • ‘In the depths of night on Mars, however, fine particles quickly become cold as temperatures plunge after sundown.’
      • ‘People often though her proud but none of that showed as she huddled alone within the depths of darkness.’
      • ‘It's hard to beat Venice in the depths of winter.’
      • ‘The poem is set in a remote period of time, in the depths of winter.’
      • ‘After all this is the season that provides us with our anthems, to which we'll still be humming or dancing away to in 6 months time in the depths of winter.’
      • ‘Though his club, as do most, pay petrol expenses, the drudgery of driving along dark glens in the depths of winter is a serious test of his commitment.’
      • ‘This is also the time of year to carry out maintenance on existing systems, to save having to call out an emergency plumber in the depths of winter.’
      • ‘It was by no means unusual to see children going barefoot in the depths of winter and offering matches for sale with hands that looked like those of old men.’
    2. 4.2 A time when one's negative feelings are at their most intense:
      ‘she was in the depths of despair’
      • ‘However, after the heights of ecstasy, the depths of despair soon followed.’
      • ‘The sad tale of a madman's decent to the depths of despair hardly provided the most upbeat ending to the festival but created a stir in the audience.’
      • ‘Theo was in the depths of despair as it was ten years to the day that his beautiful wife died, somewhat mysteriously.’
      • ‘He was in the depths of despair and he felt he had been pushed too far.’
      • ‘Little more than a year ago he was in the depths of despair, but yesterday he put it all behind him with a wonderful victory over his rival.’
      • ‘He was in the depths of despair following allegations of rape and sexual assault and tabloid tales of cocaine abuse.’
      • ‘When she arrived in South Africa she had no inkling of the depths of despair about to unfold before her eyes.’
      • ‘He vividly traced Bartók's musical journey from the depths of despair to a reaffirmation of the human spirit!’
      • ‘Get out on a Sunday morning and watch what's going on around you before you sink further into the depths of despair.’
      • ‘I am in the depths of despair and everyone around me is laughing and smiling.’
      • ‘Your hand lifts us from the depths of despair, the depths of apathy and depression, and the depths of fear.’
      • ‘That his pleasantness has survived the depths of despair and frustration says much for his sweet nature.’
      • ‘‘We were promised Utopia and we are in the depths of despair,’ said one governor.’
      • ‘Looking back on the progress we've made these last few years, it is hard to remember that it all began in the depths of despair.’
      • ‘The frustration of her dreams being continually thwarted throws her further into the depths of despair.’
      • ‘Why are our professionals still leaving, our services still deteriorating, and our young people in the depths of despair?’
      • ‘It's taken me to the dizzy heights of success one day only to drag me down to the depths of despair the next.’
      • ‘If being a father was such a noble business then why was it that he so often seemed in the depths of despair about his parental role?’
      • ‘His light, endearing style simply isn't right when it comes to the depths of despair and the relentless pain of a life no longer felt to be worth living.’
      • ‘He is a man who has a very successful record in real estate, but he is also a man who has experienced the depths of despair.’
    3. 4.3 A remote and inaccessible place:
      ‘I wish I didn't live in the depths of Devon’
      • ‘Civilization rarely penetrates far into the sandy and stony depths of the desert, for there is little to sustain it in the barren reaches.’
      • ‘As Arthur and I venture into the depths of the region, a stunning backdrop and cloudless sky sets the scene for meeting the painter.’
      • ‘She took the four teenagers to live in the depths of Norfolk, with no communication from the outside world for three and a half weeks.’
      • ‘Thanks to clear seas and warm waters the hidden depths of Cornwall are teaming with marine wildlife just waiting to be discovered.’
      • ‘Here in the depths of the Wiltshire countryside it is hard to find experts capable of resolving this question.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from deep + -th, on the pattern of pairs such as long, length.

Pronunciation

depth

/dɛpθ/