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shallow Line breaks: shal|low
Pronunciation: /ˈʃaləʊ/

Definition of shallow in English:


1Of little depth: serve the noodles in a shallow bowl being fairly shallow, the water was warm
More example sentences
  • I grow this prehistoric plant in a shallow bowl of 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.
  • Meantime, the Russian Navy is trying to pull the sub to shallow waters.
1.1Situated at no great depth: the shallow bed of the North Sea
More example sentences
  • The shallow depths where fertilizer is placed are dry under drought situations, which limits nutrient uptake.
  • Heavy equipment or materials such as pallets of payers can squash a tree's shallow surface roots.
1.2Varying only slightly from a specified or understood line or direction, especially the horizontal: a shallow roof
More example sentences
  • A shallow gabled roof covered with translucent fiberglass shelters the area from rain and drizzle without blocking the light.
  • 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.
1.3(Of breathing) taking in little air.
Example sentences
  • Jewel's breathing was shallow as she held back tears.
  • Soon, she could hear the shallow breathing of people.
  • His eyes were closed and his breathing was shallow.
2Not exhibiting, requiring, or capable of serious thought: a shallow analysis of contemporary society
More example sentences
  • This is one reason I described his analysis as shallow.
  • Fifth, the book's discussion of the Asian crisis seems shallow compared to its analysis of Japanese capitalism.
  • 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.
superficial, facile, glib, simplistic, oversimplified, schematic, slight, flimsy, insubstantial, lightweight, empty, trivial, trifling;
surface, skin-deep;
frivolous, foolish, silly, unintelligent, unthinking, unscholarly, ignorant


(shallows) Back to top  
An area of the sea, a lake, or a river where the water is not very deep.
Example sentences
  • To see for yourself, inspect the shallows at a pond or pool where the water is clear but also sports some vegetation.
  • 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 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.


[no object] Back to top  
(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
More example sentences
  • Since then, the channel shallowed and the docks silted in.
  • A much larger area at the north end of the lake is approximately 24 m deep, shallowing to the south.
  • 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.


Late Middle English: obscurely related to shoal2.

  • school from Old English:

    The school that children go to derives from Greek skholē ‘leisure, philosophy, place for lectures’, the source also of scholar (Old English). Many ancient Greeks clearly spent their leisure time in intellectual pursuits rather than physical recreation. This is not the same school that large groups of fish or sea mammals congregate in. Here the word comes from early German and Dutch schōle, ‘a troop, multitude’, and comes from the same root as shoal (Old English) and is related to shallow (Late Middle English).



Pronunciation: /ˈʃaləʊli/
Example sentences
  • We might well have been guilty of thinking too shallowly, of gulping our facts and developing a taste for the bitter; but happy-go-lucky, laissez-faire and carefree is not how I remember it.
  • Planting too deeply will cause collar rot; planting too shallowly will expose the roots.
  • We will win our small victories, but then forget the sacrifices made to achieve them as we bathe our wounds in overly generous civil liberties and a materialistic capitalist balm that only shallowly soothes us.


Pronunciation: /ˈʃaləʊnəs/
Example sentences
  • That kind of superficial shallowness went out with the 80's.
  • But imagine a serious 19 th-century novelist writing with comparable levity about an equivalent shallowness!
  • Technical wizardry and brilliant tricks with time can't obscure the shallowness and frivolousness of the question posed.

Words that rhyme with shallow

aloe, callow, fallow, hallow, mallow, marshmallow, sallow, tallow

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