- 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 metres. They dug down to a depth of two metres. Many dolphins can dive to depths of 200 metres. The oil well extended several hundreds of feet in depth. the depth of a cut/wound/crack
- 2 [countable, uncountable] the distance from the front to the back of something The depth of the shelves is 30 centimetres. of feelings
- 3 [uncountable] the strength and power of feelings the depth of her love of knowledge
- 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. deepest part
- 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). of colour
- 6[uncountable] the strength of a colour Strong light will affect the depth of colour of your carpets and curtains. picture/photograph
- 7[uncountable] (specialist) the quality in a work of art or a photograph which makes it appear not to be flat See related entries: Describing art see also deepWord Familydeep adjective adverbdeeply adverbdeepen verbdepth noun Word Origin late Middle English: from deep + -th, on the pattern of pairs such as long, length.Extra examples I don’t like going out of my depth in the sea. I studied phonology in depth at college. I suspect she has hidden depths. It lacks the complexity or depth of his best movies. The camera must be strong enough to resist the immense water pressure at depth. The clam burrows in the sand to a considerable depth. The demonstration showed the depth of feeling against the war. The rejection plunged her into the dark depths of despair. The ship’s mast finally disappeared into the watery depths. The story plumbed the depths of tabloid journalism. The writer seems a little out of her depth when dealing with the emotional issue involved. These fish are found at a depth of over 100 metres. They go down to great depths below the surface. Water normally moves more slowly at shallower depths. Younger students cannot be expected to have great depth of understanding. music of great emotional depth sharks lurking in the murky depths sharks lurking in the murky grey depths of the sea species that live at considerable depth the abyssal depths of the ocean the unexpected depth of his feelings for her He tried to establish the depth of the wound. The oil well extended several hundreds of feet in depth. What’s the depth of the water here? a job that doesn’t require any great depth of knowledgeIdioms
- 1(British English) to be in water that is too deep to stand in with your head above water If you can't swim, don't go out of your depth.
- 2to 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.