Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search



From Middle English schalowe ‎(not deep, shallow); apparently related to Old English sceald ‎(shallow). See also shoal.



shallow ‎(comparative shallower, superlative shallowest)

  1. Having little depth; significantly less deep than wide.
    This crater is relatively shallow.
    Saute the onions in a shallow pan.
  2. Extending not far downward.
    The water is shallow here.
  3. Concerned mainly with superficial matters.
    It was a glamorous but shallow lifestyle.
  4. Lacking interest or substance.
    The acting is good, but the characters are shallow.
  5. Not intellectually deep; not penetrating deeply; simple; not wise or knowing.
    shallow learning
    • Francis Bacon
      The king was neither so shallow, nor so ill advertised, as not to perceive the intention of the French king.
  6. (obsolete) Not deep in tone.
    • Francis Bacon
      the sound perfecter and not so shallow and jarring
  7. (tennis) Not far forward, close to the net



The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.


shallow ‎(plural shallows)

  1. A shallow portion of an otherwise deep body of water.
    The ship ran aground in an unexpected shallow.
    • Francis Bacon
      A swift stream is not heard in the channel, but upon shallows of gravel.
    • Dryden
      dashed on the shallows of the moving sand
  2. A fish, the rudd.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Usually used in the plural form.


See also[edit]


shallow ‎(third-person singular simple present shallows, present participle shallowing, simple past and past participle shallowed)

  1. To make or become less deep