AskDefine | Define shallow

Dictionary Definition

shallow adj
1 lacking physical depth; having little spatial extension downward or inward from an outer surface or backward or outward from a center; "shallow water"; "a shallow dish"; "a shallow cut"; "a shallow closet"; "established a shallow beachhead"; "hit the ball to shallow left field" [ant: deep]
2 not deep or strong; not affecting one deeply; "shallow breathing"; "a night of shallow fretful sleep"; "in a shallow trance" [ant: deep]
3 lacking depth of intellect or knowledge; concerned only with what is obvious; "shallow people"; "his arguments seemed shallow and tedious" n : a stretch of shallow water [syn: shoal]


1 make shallow; "The silt shallowed the canal" [syn: shoal]
2 become shallow; "the lake shallowed over time" [syn: shoal]

User Contributed Dictionary



Origin uncertain; apparently realted to sceald.


  • a UK /ˈʃaləʊ/
  • a US /ˈʃæl.oʊ/, /"S

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

airy, amateur, amateurish, ankle-deep, asinine, bank, bar, birdbrained, birdwitted, catchpenny, coral reef, cursory, dabbling, depthless, dilettante, dilettantish, empty, epidermal, fatuous, featherbrained, few, fill in, fill up, flat, flighty, flimsy, fluffy, foolish, footling, ford, fribble, fribbling, frivolous, frothy, futile, half-assed, half-baked, half-cocked, idle, immature, inane, inconsequential, inconsiderable, insignificant, jejune, knee-deep, light, little, low, meager, miniature, negligible, no great shakes, not deep, nugacious, nugatory, on the surface, otiose, petty, picayune, picayunish, reef, sandbank, sandbar, sciolistic, shallow-headed, shallow-minded, shallow-pated, shallow-rooted, shallow-witted, shallows, shelf, shoal, shoal water, shoals, short, silly, silt up, skin-deep, slender, slight, small, smattering, sophomoric, superficial, surface, thin, tidal flats, tiny, trifling, trite, trivial, unimportant, unprofound, vacuous, vain, vapid, volatile, wetlands, windy
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