Definition of deep in English:

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Pronunciation: /diːp/


1Extending far down from the top or surface: a deep gorge the lake was deep and cold
More example sentences
  • The mountain scenery was totally awesome with spectacular peaks, glacial rivers and deep mountain gorges.
  • Since it was built over a deep gorge, it was well protected against destructive forces.
  • Rocky gullets of white water open out into deep gorges where salmon lie waiting for water to continue their upstream journey.
extending far down;
cavernous, yawning, gaping, huge, big, great, extensive, profound, unplumbed;
bottomless, immeasurable, fathomless, unfathomable
rare chasmic
1.1Extending or situated far in from the outer edge or surface: a deep alcove deep in the woods
More example sentences
  • Why is it impossible to pump water from very deep in the ground with a surface pump?
  • The grave generally is located in a riverbed or somewhere deep in the forest.
  • Last September we went to the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, just in the general admission section which was deep in the woods.
extending far back/in, extending a long way back, extensive
1.2 [predicative] (After a measurement and in questions) extending a specified distance from the top, surface, or outer edge: the well was 200 feet deep
More example sentences
  • Adding more debt to a debt ridden business is like adding a sledge to the back of a man trudging through six foot deep snow.
  • It was a problem getting this water to the surface as the average well was 100 feet deep.
  • What are you going to do when the ground below you suddenly disappears and a 100 meter deep hole opens up?
in depth, downwards, inwards, from top to bottom, from the surface, in vertical extent
1.3 [in combination] As far up or down as a specified point: they stood waist-deep in the water
1.4 [predicative] In a specified number of ranks one behind another: [in combination]: they were standing three-deep at the bar
More example sentences
  • Sadly, without ranks of police four deep, the football fans will rip out each other's throats.
  • It was three-deep at the bar, with icy platters of oysters and glasses of sparkling wine littering the marble top.
  • Organized ranks, five deep and five wide, marched right below him.
1.5Taking in or giving out a lot of air: she took a deep breath
More example sentences
  • She took a deep breath and swallowed the sobs that were rising in her throat.
  • Once she was settled in with an arm slung over his chest, she sighed a deep breath of relief.
  • Michael sighed, leaning his head back as he took a deep breath to calm himself.
1.6 Cricket (Of a fielding position) relatively distant from the batsman; near the boundary: deep midwicket
More example sentences
  • His shot lobs high into the air before landing short of Harmison at deep midwicket.
  • Dravid was out attempting to hit a six, the ball landing with the deep midwicket fielder.
  • Blackwell deposited Gary Keedy into the pavilion for a massive six, but was then well caught at deep square-leg off Kyle Hogg.
1.7(In ball games) to or from a position far down or across the field: a deep cross from Neill
More example sentences
  • He blasts a volley from a deep cross into the side-netting.
  • His deep cross nearly becomes a freak goal; it spins back towards the net and rolls right along the top of the crossbar and stays in play.
  • Adam Johnson's deep cross from the right found Martin Packer on the opposite flank.
2Very intense or extreme: she was in deep trouble a deep sleep
More example sentences
  • When citizens lack confidence in the basic institutions of democracy, the nation is in very deep trouble.
  • We think that humanity could be heading for deep trouble unless we take action very soon.
  • They are in deep, deep trouble, and the economy will get worse and worse.
sound, heavy, profound, intense
2.1(Of an emotion or feeling) intensely felt: deep disappointment
More example sentences
  • Personal relationships are full of deep feelings and emotions but you need to wait for the right time to expose them.
  • This place is home, if anywhere is, and I love it with a deep passion.
  • It was a deep feeling of dissatisfaction, and it was making ordinary people do very crazy things.
intense, heartfelt, deeply felt, fervent, ardent, impassioned, wholehearted, deep-seated, deep-rooted, thorough, thoroughgoing, serious;
sincere, honest, genuine, unfeigned;
earnest, enthusiastic, keen, great;
grave, abject
2.2Profound or penetrating in awareness or understanding: a deep analysis
More example sentences
  • I must also take notice of her deep understanding of Middle Eastern affairs, despite the fact that she has never lived there.
  • They like to have a deep understanding of how to do business.
  • Those who worked with him at the time have commented on his deep understanding of Canada and Canadian issues.
clever, intelligent, intellectual;
knowledgeable, learned, wise, sagacious, sage, scholarly;
discerning, penetrating, perspicacious, perceptive, percipient, insightful, keen, sharp, sharp-witted, quick-witted;
profound, philosophical, complex, weighty, serious, difficult, abstruse, esoteric, recondite, impenetrable, unfathomable, mysterious, obscure
2.3Difficult to understand: this is all getting too deep for me
More example sentences
  • Nothing deep or philosophical, you understand, just: how is this going to get better?
  • They understood something very deep that we more secular types never learned.
  • Do you understand what deep and metaphysical things he is trying to say?
obscure, mysterious, hidden, secret, unfathomable, fathomless, opaque, abstruse, recondite, esoteric, enigmatic, arcane, Delphic;
puzzling, perplexing, baffling, mystifying, inexplicable
informal as clear as mud
2.4 (deep in) Fully absorbed or involved in (a state or activity): they were deep in their own thoughts
More example sentences
  • She was taking very little bites of food and looked very deep in thought.
  • He looked really deep in thought and sad at the same time.
  • Then he'd go off and make himself a cup of coffee still deep in thought, sometimes forgetting to add sugar and sometimes adding too much.
rapt, absorbed, engrossed, preoccupied, immersed, steeped, lost, captivated, spellbound, riveted, gripped, enthralled, intent, engaged
2.5(Of a person) unpredictable and secretive: that Thomas is a deep one
More example sentences
  • I'm a pretty deep person, and cruising gives me a chance to be alone and think.
  • I've always wanted to meet you, you seem like such a deep person with a beautiful soul.
  • As you would expect from someone who has made a living in the movie capital for more than 30 years, he is neither a subtle nor a very deep man.
3(Of sound) low in pitch and full in tone; not shrill: a deep, resonant voice
More example sentences
  • At his urging I strummed the guitar, closing my eyes as a gorgeous deep sound resonated.
  • This means that there are additional deep sounds which cannot be heard.
  • He thought he heard a rumbling sound, a deep voice coming from somewhere far away.
low-pitched, low, bass, full-toned, rich, powerful, resonant, rumbling, booming, resounding, sonorous
4(Of colour) dark and intense: a deep pink
More example sentences
  • Although the main stem is still thin and whippy, it is an attractive, shiny, deep purple in colour.
  • The colours are deep and rich and help set an operatic mood and tone for almost every scene.
  • The sky had become a dark shade of indigo, tinged with the remnants of deep magenta.
intense, vivid, rich, strong, brilliant, glowing, vibrant, bold, warm, flamboyant, eye-catching


1 (the deep) literary The sea: denizens of the deep
More example sentences
  • The oarsmen pushed their oars above the water while a brawny man dropped an anchor into the deep.
  • And that's before we even get to the more bizarre denizens of the deep.
  • A bit later they had proof of his ignorance when he told them to cast their nets in the deep during broad daylight.
1.1 (usually deeps) A deep part of the sea: the dark and menacing deeps figurative the deeps of her imagination
More example sentences
  • Everywhere from the shallows of time to the deeps the ocean is one and the same water.
  • Scanning the area with invisible eyes, the figure finally dismissed its feelings as a mistaken judgement, before swimming on into the murky deeps off the ocean's continental shelf.
  • Tube worms and bacteria coexist in the inky darkness of ocean deeps.
2 (the deep) Cricket The part of the field distant from the batsman.
Example sentences
  • He was also noted for his magnificent fielding in the deep.
  • If a better catch has been taken in the deep in any form of cricket, I'm not sure that I've seen it.
  • He made 70 runs off just 68 balls before being caught in the deep.


1Far down or in; deeply: he travelled deep into the forest
More example sentences
  • The narrator gets off a train in a deserted countryside and walks deep into the forest, where he makes camp and goes to sleep.
  • The peroxide, he says, wouldn't penetrate very deep beneath the surface.
  • Some short trails lead to viewpoints; longer and more difficult trails penetrate deep into the forest and wilderness.
far down, far in, deep down, way down, to a great depth
far, a long way, a great distance, a good way
1.1(In sport) distant from the batsman or forward line of one’s team: he swung the ball in deep
More example sentences
  • By drifting from side to side and dropping deep he found space from which to torment the other team.
  • He will have to throw deep a few times early to keep the safeties out of the box.
  • In this game Royal made the mistake of either kicking too deep or not chipping.



deep down

In one’s inmost feelings, despite appearances to the contrary: I was playing the tough girl but deep down I was devastated
More example sentences
  • It wouldn't surprise me if we just simply drifted apart because deep down neither of us think that it's going anywhere.
  • Some youngsters think these stories about the past are dreadfully boring and they don't want to hear them anymore but deep down, I think, they know it's part of themselves.
  • You know deep down, you do not want to do this.

the deep end

The end of a swimming pool where the water is deepest.
Example sentences
  • Others dived nimbly off the diving board into blue water of the deep end of the huge swimming pool.
  • At the sound of approaching footsteps, frogs hopped into the filthy, dark water at the deep end of the swimming pool.
  • Hang on, that's about the depth of the deep end of the local swimming baths.

dig deep

informal Use a lot of one’s physical, mental, or financial resources: dig deep—I know you can do better the generous trio decided to dig deep into their own pockets
More example sentences
  • They have the moves, they have the power, but do they have that mental toughness to dig deep for 80 minutes?
  • I guess I'll have to dig deep and tap those resources of grit and resilience within me.
  • Generous Swindonians dug deep in their pockets and raised hundreds of pounds for the National Osteoporosis Society.

go off the deep end

Give way immediately to an emotional outburst, especially of anger: now don’t go off the deep end—I’ve thought of an idea
More example sentences
  • I just went off the deep end and I said, ‘Hey, this is going too far’.’
  • Some Bulgarian leaders, and its media, went off the deep end after a Bulgarian gymnastics hopeful was judged worthy of silver, but not gold.
  • If anyone out there thinks the Globe & Mail is biased, the Calgary Herald, Calgary Sun and National Post have absolutely gone off the deep end since the election.
chiefly US 4.1 Go mad; behave extremely strangely: they looked at me as if I had gone off the deep end
More example sentences
  • My mother has always been crazy but she finally went off the deep end and severed ties with me and her mother who I stay with.
  • I don't know if she's just goofing around or if she's totally gone off the deep end.
  • And pretty soon the fridge was empty and we're sitting there in the kitchen, laughing so hard about heart disease and strokes that I thought we'd both gone off the deep end.

go (or run) deep

(Of emotions, beliefs, etc.) be strongly and wholeheartedly felt or held: his passion runs deep
More example sentences
  • His allegiance to the cause runs deep.
  • Loyalty to a sibling ran deeper than loyalty to a spouse.
  • I know that Dad's mental scars run deeper.

in deep

Inextricably involved in or committed to a situation: he knew that he was in deep when his things began to proliferate in her apartment
More example sentences
  • The shooting began to sink in and he realised he was in deep, way over his head.
  • You're in deep in the system, in its fouled blood, in its creaking bones, in its edgy nerves.
  • Four likely London lads are in deep to a mobster and try to find ways to come up with the dosh.

in deep water (or waters)

informal In trouble or difficulty: he landed in deep water when he began the affair
More example sentences
  • Many Christians only think of God when they are in deep water, they get in trouble and they scream for God, they get out of trouble, and they run back to their sin and rebellion.
  • I've been in deep water and he hasn't been in deep water and we'll see how he handles that.
  • With his manipulative talents, he landed his opponent in deep waters.

jump (or be thrown) in at the deep end

informal Face a difficult problem or undertaking with little or no preparation or prior experience: they’re thrown in at the deep end and have to develop skills quickly
More example sentences
  • We were thrown in at the deep end when we won a major global project with a London bank and we needed to get moving quickly.
  • A lot of players were thrown in at the deep end, me being one of them.
  • I was thrown in at the deep end and they put me on the Finance Committee.



Pronunciation: /ˈdiːpnəs/
Example sentences
  • There's a deepness in this song that I've only glimpsed in other works.
  • There weren't any words to describe the deepness of his feelings.
  • Her round figure and the deepness of her voice reminded him of the images of the kinds of mothers who were kind and understanding from storybooks.


Old English dēop (adjective), dīope, dēope (adverb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch diep and German tief, also to dip.

  • The word deep is related to dip (Old English) and dive (Old English), and in Old English could also mean depth (Late Middle English). The phrase in deep water, ‘in trouble or difficulty’, has biblical origins. The writer of one of the Psalms begged, ‘Let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters’. The deep waters of a swimming pool did not become familiar enough to provide linguistic inspiration until the 20th century. If you go off the deep end you have an emotional outburst, especially of anger, and to jump (or be thrown) in at the deep end is to face a difficult undertaking with little or no preparation or experience.

Words that rhyme with deep

asleep, beep, bleep, cheap, cheep, creep, heap, Jeep, keep, leap, neap, neep, peep, reap, seep, sheep, skin-deep, sleep, steep, Streep, sweep, veep, weep

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: deep

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