adjective, shal·low·er, shal·low·est.

  1. of little depth; not deep: shallow water.
  2. lacking depth; superficial: a mind that is not narrow but shallow.
  3. taking in a relatively small amount of air in each inhalation: shallow breathing.
  4. Baseball. relatively close to home plate: The shortstop caught the pop fly in shallow left field.


  1. Usually shallows. (used with a singular or plural verb) a shallow part of a body of water; shoal.


  1. Baseball. at a shallow position: With the pitcher up, the outfielders played shallow.

verb (used with or without object)

  1. to make or become shallow.


  1. having little depth
  2. lacking intellectual or mental depth or subtlety; superficial


  1. (often plural) a shallow place in a body of water; shoal


  1. to make or become shallow

adj.c.1400, schalowe “not deep,” probably from or related to Old English sceald (see shoal (n.)). Of breathing, attested from 1875; of thought or feeling, “superficial,” first recorded 1580s. The noun, usually shallows, is first recorded 1570s, from the adjective.

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