Definition of shallowness in US English:



  • 1Lack of physical depth.

    ‘because of the shallowness of the water there are big temperature fluctuations’
    • ‘The shallowness of the space is just one of the elements that form parts of a larger, more complex content.’
    • ‘The shallowness of the sea in the area and the mixing of the water due to these factors turn it brown, preventing penetration of light rays.’
    • ‘Many are those who have been fooled by the apparent shallowness only to regret it halfway across.’
    • ‘Competitors are being advised that the shortcut through the canal has been ruled out by the race committee due to the shallowness of the water.’
    • ‘The characteristic feature of an estuary is its shallowness.’
    • ‘Neither the shallowness of the illusionistic space nor the interlocking of forms has anything to do with the limitations of the 'optical track'.’
    • ‘The shallowness of the projected spaces gives the hands an iconic quality.’
    • ‘Infinite combinations of all these colours is possible, which can give rise to qualities such as contrast, brightness, shallowness, etc.’
    • ‘If the pool were being built for toddlers, you would opt for shallowness.’
    • ‘The shallowness of the water limited the tsunami's destructive power, but flooding was extensive.’
    1. 1.1 Lack of strength or intensity.
      ‘increased shallowness of breath’
      • ‘All this is little more than a truism, yet it exposes the conceptual shallowness of the approach of the Joint Chiefs' documents.’
      • ‘The recession exposed the shallowness of the foundations on which the 'Big Bang' of 1986–87 was built.’
      • ‘With a failing respiratory center, and consequent abnormal shallowness of respiration, anoxia in the arterial blood is the natural result of the recumbent position.’
      • ‘An important indicator of the shallowness of these ties has been their failure to adopt a mutual defense agreement.’
      • ‘Frequency is very often an index of shallowness of breathing.’
      • ‘He argues the shallowness in the use of military power in the past administration and then emphatically debunks the 'casualty myth'.’
      • ‘These recordings boast essentially modern sound, although I am not entirely pleased with the shallowness of the piano's tone.’
      • ‘The policy reflected nothing so much as a shallowness of commitment among the member states.’
      • ‘Given the shallowness of the domestic market, and its vulnerability to harvest failure, foreign markets played a leading role in the stimulation of economic growth.’
      • ‘My shallowness of knowledge in this area is epic, but if I can make it work, so can you.’
  • 2Lack of depth of character, insight, or serious thought.

    ‘the shallowness of the characters left the movie flat’
    ‘Kate would scoff at her mother's apparent shallowness’
    ‘the shallowness of their arguments’
    • ‘She reeks of having too much money and too little taste, and the photograph is an indictment of her shallowness and vanity.’
    • ‘Her shallowness in life has become almost a virtue in undeath.’
    • ‘There is a shallowness to the culture there that can make you question the authenticity of anything coming out of the place.’
    • ‘Nicely written sentences and a roller-coaster ending do not compensate for shallowness of meaning and lazy characterisation.’
    • ‘The character is used to demonstrate the occasional shallowness of our society.’
    • ‘He looked carefully in the other direction—to hide the fact he considered his friends' shallowness annoying.’
    • ‘Fair play apparently means inviting them to attend their own roast and then dismissing them for the shallowness of their arguments.’
    • ‘I guess the article's shallowness disappoints more than it angers me.’
    • ‘He was smiling an ironic smile since he pitied himself for all the years of shallowness he had grown so used to.’
    • ‘The problem with the digital promise lies not its frivolity or its shallowness.’