Definition of shallow in English:

shallow

adjective

  • 1Of little depth.

    ‘serve the noodles in a shallow bowl’
    ‘being fairly shallow, the water was warm’
    • ‘The five nodded their understanding before giving a shallow bow.’
    • ‘For the custard, preheat the oven to 300 degrees and line a shallow baking pan with plastic wrap.’
    • ‘Kate quickly pulled out a shallow chest from beneath her bed and dumped the contents onto the floor.’
    • ‘Long, shallow cuts lined her cheeks and forehead, and at one or two places, there were deep gouges.’
    • ‘The casserole is fairly shallow with a large surface area allowing maximum evaporation.’
    • ‘That night he made his way out of town and bedded down on the edge of a shallow gully.’
    • ‘Do you know how shallow the water is here?’
    • ‘These greyish, shallow erosions in the surface of the tongue and cheeks are inflamed and painful, especially when you eat hot, spicy food.’
    • ‘The narrow, deep lakes, so named because they look like the fingers of a hand, were carved by Ice Age glaciers, which deposited shallow topsoil on sloping shale beds above the lakes.’
    • ‘Evenly broadcast the seeds over an area of the bed or sprinkle them in a shallow furrow.’
    • ‘He was speeding south over flat plains, shallow rivers, lines of trees and teeny signs of civilization.’
    • ‘Each pair of gloves is mounted in a shallow pine box lined with beaded and embroidered wedding fabric and fitted with a lid that has an oval cutout.’
    • ‘Meantime, the Russian Navy is trying to pull the sub to shallow waters.’
    • ‘They were covered over slightly, like a shallow puddle that manages to reflect the sky while still being able to see to the bottom.’
    • ‘They have created roughly parallel blocks flanked by shallow canals that are actually slightly above harbour level.’
    • ‘There have even been a few documented cases of dolphins supporting drowning swimmers to shallow water.’
    • ‘Plan on shelf space tall enough for large cereal boxes and drawers shallow enough to allow you to easily find small bags and boxes.’
    • ‘Cool slightly and turn out onto a shallow sided dish.’
    • ‘Roll the pastry into a large rectangle and line a shallow baking tray.’
    • ‘I grow this prehistoric plant in a shallow bowl of water.’
    1. 1.1 Situated at no great depth.
      ‘the shallow bed of the North Sea’
      • ‘Heavy equipment or materials such as pallets of payers can squash a tree's shallow surface roots.’
      • ‘The shallow depths where fertilizer is placed are dry under drought situations, which limits nutrient uptake.’
    2. 1.2 Varying only slightly from a specified or understood line or direction, especially the horizontal.
      ‘a shallow roof’
      • ‘The hall is shaded by a shallow half-hat of a roof which leaves a crescent-shaped interstice between it and the edge of the big carapace.’
      • ‘Arranged in a radial pattern, the stone arches are crowned by a shallow domed roof clad in panels of green pre-patinated copper.’
      • ‘Her roof has the same shallow hip but is turned up like a basin with a butterfly profile.’
      • ‘If the spaceship goes in at too shallow a plane, it will bounce off and just fly off into outer space.’
      • ‘As the resort's rules demand, walls are sculpted out of white rendered masonry, and there is a shallow thatched roof.’
      • ‘Architecturally they incorporate the low roofs, polygonal towers and shallow, semicircular domes of the Byzantine mode.’
      • ‘A shallow gabled roof covered with translucent fiberglass shelters the area from rain and drizzle without blocking the light.’
      • ‘The metal balcony is propped from the rubble wall, and is an addition to traditional forms, as is the shallow pyramid of the roof.’
      • ‘The second was the notion that the project was considered an extension of the city floor, a ramped surface of shallow slopes.’
      • ‘The den was situated at the top of a shallow hill.’
      • ‘For a shallow pitch roof, however, the three tabs is a reasonable choice.’
    3. 1.3 (of breathing) taking in little air.
      • ‘His breathing was shallow, even, and mathematically perfect, each breath as large as the last, drawn out for the same amount of time.’
      • ‘His shallow breathing seemed to echo throughout the room.’
      • ‘His eyes were closed and his breathing was shallow.’
      • ‘Jasmin's breathing was shallow and her face flushed.’
      • ‘There was no reply save for the whelpling's shallow breathing.’
      • ‘His breathing quickened, his breaths shallow and shaky, as if each one might be his last.’
      • ‘He paused abruptly and David opened his eyes slowly; lowering his arms down, he listened to the man's shallow breathing as he muttered something barely audible.’
      • ‘She'd looked terribly pale and her breathing was very shallow.’
      • ‘Her breathing is shallow as she tries to keep from crying.’
      • ‘The next minute his partner's heart was racing, his breathing was shallow, and he wouldn't respond to anything Jim said, or shouted.’
      • ‘His breathing was shallow, and his eyes were tightly closed.’
      • ‘Soon, she could hear the shallow breathing of people.’
      • ‘His breathing was shallow and his face was flushed.’
      • ‘He was trembling and his breathing was shallow and shaky.’
      • ‘She pushed forward, rolling like a treadmill, trying to make her breaths shallow to preserve her air supply.’
      • ‘I was pressed up against him and my breathing was shallow.’
      • ‘Dave sank down and sat on her front steps, breaths shallow, as though he was trying not to cry.’
      • ‘She heard her tent mates' shallow breathing in their repose.’
      • ‘Jewel's breathing was shallow as she held back tears.’
  • 2Not exhibiting, requiring, or capable of serious thought.

    ‘a shallow analysis of contemporary society’
    • ‘It's a little shallow that way, but yet one of our guiltiest pleasures.’
    • ‘The errors are patent and they are explicable by what we say is a rather shallow analysis of the admissible value of those utterances in the record of interview.’
    • ‘She was supposed to be the one who wasn't shallow and who wasn't concerned with ‘status’ and such.’
    • ‘This is one reason I described his analysis as shallow.’
    • ‘As they open up to each other about their woes, neither seems to recognise how monstrously selfish and shallow they appear.’
    • ‘She likes to pretend she's that shallow, but she really isn't.’
    • ‘Was he the only one who could tell how shallow she was?’
    • ‘Fifth, the book's discussion of the Asian crisis seems shallow compared to its analysis of Japanese capitalism.’
    • ‘Critics such as La Font de Saint-Yenne and Diderot began to label the work of many of their contemporaries shallow, frivolous, and licentious.’
    • ‘He also happened to be rather handsome, but I wasn't that shallow.’
    • ‘I know my sister isn't gullible or dumb, so this fact only served to prove to me how shallow she is.’
    • ‘They were both beautiful, popular people and their pairing had only seemed natural to everyone else despite how shallow I thought Mandy was.’
    • ‘Tara resented the implication that she would be that shallow.’
    • ‘People are vain and shallow and disregard the love of others to pursue their own whims.’
    • ‘However theologically shallow it may be, however, there was a definite thought and reasoning behind it.’
    • ‘People may disagree on how deep / shallow it really is, but the scintillating buzz is pretty undeniable.’
    • ‘Your friends think I'm just that shallow, because they don't see it and I let them.’
    • ‘But then again, did he truly believe that all women on earth were that shallow?’
    • ‘I was going to go home and fix my face, hide it with makeup and hope that Brendan wasn't shallow enough to break up with me because I was temporarily ugly.’
    • ‘I got to know her pretty well and realized that she wasn't really shallow.’
    superficial, facile, glib, simplistic, oversimplified, schematic, slight, flimsy, insubstantial, lightweight, empty, trivial, trifling
    View synonyms

noun

shallows
  • An area of the sea, a lake, or a river where the water is not very deep.

    • ‘The world of Holodrum is a land filled with season sensitive elements such as spring blooming flowers, snow covered caves as well as summer sapped shallows of water and pits clogged with autumn falling leaves.’
    • ‘He waded into the shallows and collapsed in knee deep water.’
    • ‘These elusive creatures live in sea-grass meadows, mangrove forests, and other secret shallows in the ocean.’
    • ‘She lay with her chin on her forearms, deliciously amused at the sight of Wolf plunging through the shallows, growling like an amphibious tiger.’
    • ‘Down by the water, kids are playing tag on a long, sandy beach and splashing in the brisk, gin-clear shallows of Redfish Lake.’
    • ‘The components of Friedrich's seascapes are here in a fresh guise: figures gazing at a moonlit sea from rocky shallows at its edge.’
    • ‘She walked along the banks of the lake, watching a water snake slither in the shallows.’
    • ‘Those on the front line of the hauling ropes stood knee deep in the shallows.’
    • ‘We swam to the shore and in every shallow we stopped.’
    • ‘In and out of the shingle shallows the fish tried to find escape.’
    • ‘He moved forward cautiously until a man came into view crouched in the shallows of the river.’
    • ‘The rest of the class graduated to the deep end, while I hung around the shallows or clung to the side of the pool.’
    • ‘As summer had progressed, the weather had become sunnier and the water in the shallows of the bay had warmed up for swimming.’
    • ‘When she was done crying, she left with the baby to go and let Andrea swim in the shallows of the pond.’
    • ‘Taking Danny's hand the nurse led him into the shallows of the water.’
    • ‘The trout here also seem to prefer the deep pools during the day and venture out into the shallows only when the sun is off the water.’
    • ‘The tall cottonwood trees along the bluffs and in the shallows of the river swayed violently in the wind and several snapped in half.’
    • ‘Caelyn walked around in the cool shallows of the water with Justin at her side.’
    • ‘There was a rank smell, not the smell of dead flesh but something older and colder, like something prised out of a shell in the shallows of a tide pool.’
    • ‘To see for yourself, inspect the shallows at a pond or pool where the water is clear but also sports some vegetation.’

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • (of the sea, a lake, or a river) become less deep over time or in a particular place.

    ‘the boat ground to a halt where the water shallowed’
    • ‘Golden sunlight slanted across dark blue water, ruffled here and there with white lace or streaked brown with mud where it shallowed, but the central channel was wide and deep.’
    • ‘A much larger area at the north end of the lake is approximately 24 m deep, shallowing to the south.’
    • ‘Further in, the tunnel narrowed and shallowed slightly, until at 30m there was a distinct murky halocline.’
    • ‘The airplane's nose dropped through the horizon and speed started increasing to a bit more than 150 knots, then the nose started climbing and the bank angle shallowed out.’
    • ‘Their pessimism is based on the condition of Jakarta's rivers, which have been shallowed and now mostly function as dumps for people living along the riverbanks.’
    • ‘Since then, the channel shallowed and the docks silted in.’

Origin

Late Middle English: obscurely related to shoal.

Pronunciation

shallow

/ˈʃaləʊ/