from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Measuring little from bottom to top or surface; lacking physical depth.
  • adj. Lacking depth of intellect, emotion, or knowledge: "This is a shallow parody of America” ( Lloyd Rose).
  • adj. Marked by insufficient inhalation of air; weak: shallow respirations.
  • adj. In the part of a playing area that is closer to home plate: shallow left field.
  • n. A part of a body of water of little depth; a shoal. Often used in the plural: abandoned the boat in the shallows.
  • transitive v. To make or become shallow.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Having little depth; significantly less deep than wide.
  • adj. Extending not far downward.
  • adj. Concerned mainly with superficial matters.
  • adj. Lacking interest or substance.
  • adj. Not far forward, close to the net
  • n. A shallow portion of an otherwise deep body of water.
  • v. To make or become less deep

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Not deep; having little depth; shoal.
  • adj. Not deep in tone.
  • adj. Not intellectually deep; not profound; not penetrating deeply; simple; not wise or knowing; ignorant; superficial.
  • n. A place in a body of water where the water is not deep; a shoal; a flat; a shelf.
  • n. The rudd.
  • intransitive v. To become shallow, as water.
  • transitive v. To make shallow.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Not deep; of little depth: as, a shallow brook; a shallow place; a shallow vessel or dish.
  • Not deep intellectually; superficial: as, a shallow person; a shallow mind.
  • n. A place where the water is not deep; a shoal; a shelf; a flat; a bank.
  • To make shallow; decrease the depth of.
  • To become shallow; decrease in depth: as, the water shallows rapidly as one approaches the bar.
  • n. The rudd, a fish.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. become shallow
  • v. make shallow
  • n. a stretch of shallow water
  • adj. lacking depth of intellect or knowledge; concerned only with what is obvious
  • adj. not deep or strong; not affecting one deeply
  • adj. lacking physical depth; having little spatial extension downward or inward from an outer surface or backward or outward from a center


Middle English schalowe.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English schalowe ("not deep, shallow"); apparently related to Old English sceald ("shallow"). See also shoal. (Wiktionary)



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