American English

Definition of depth noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable, uncountable] the distance from the top or surface to the bottom of something What's the depth of the water here? Water was found at a depth of 30 feet. They dug down to a depth of 10 feet. Many dolphins can dive to depths of 500 feet. The oil well extended several hundreds of feet in depth. the depth of a cut/wound/crack
  2. 2[countable, uncountable] the distance from the front to the back of something The depth of the shelves is 15 inches.
  3. of feelings
  4. 3[uncountable] the strength and power of feelings the depth of her love
  5. of knowledge
  6. 4[uncountable] (approving) the quality of knowing or understanding a lot of details about something; the ability to provide and explain these details a writer of great wisdom and depth a job that doesn't require any great depth of knowledge His ideas lack depth.
  7. deepest part
  8. 5[countable, usually plural] the deepest, most extreme or serious part of something the depths of the ocean to live in the depths of the country (= a long way from a town) in the depths of winter (= when it is coldest) She was in the depths of despair. He gazed into the depths of her eyes. Her paintings reveal hidden depths (= unknown and interesting things about her character).
  9. of color
  10. 6[uncountable] the strength of a color Strong light will affect the depth of color of your carpets and curtains.
  11. picture/photograph
  12. 7[uncountable] (technology) the quality in a work of art or a photograph that makes it appear not to be flat see also deep
  13. Word Familydeep adjective adverbdeeply adverbdeepen verbdepth nounIdioms
    be out of your depth
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    to be unable to understand something because it is too difficult; to be in a situation that you cannot control He felt totally out of his depth in his new job.
    in a detailed and thorough way I haven't looked at the report in depth yet. an in-depth study
    plumb the depths of something
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    to be or to experience an extreme example of something unpleasant His latest novel plumbs the depths of horror and violence. It was at that stage in her life when she plumbed the depths of despair. The team's poor performances plumbed new depths last night when they lost 10–2.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: depth