Meaning of DEEP in English

I. deep 1 S2 W1 /diːp/ BrE AmE adjective ( comparative deeper , superlative deepest )

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ deep , ↑ depth ; adjective : ↑ deep , deepening; verb : ↑ deepen ; adverb : ↑ deeply ]

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: deop ]


a) going far down from the top or from the surface OPP shallow :

The castle is on an island surrounded by a deep lake.

The swimming pool has a deep end and a shallow end for kids.

We’ll take the boat out into deep water where we can dive.

a deep narrow valley

b) you use deep to say what distance something goes down from the top or surface

2 metres/6 feet etc deep

Dig a hole around 12 inches deep.

ankle-deep/waist-deep etc

In places, the snow was waist-deep (=deep enough to reach a person’s waist) .

⇨ ↑ knee-deep

2 . GOING FAR IN going far in from the outside or from the front edge of something:

a deep wound

She was sitting in a deep leather chair.

3 . SERIOUS serious or severe:

Despite the peace process, there are deep divisions in the community.

The country is in a deep recession.

Evan would be in deep trouble if he was caught.

4 . BREATH a deep breath or ↑ sigh is one in which you breathe a lot of air in or out:

She stopped and took a deep breath.

Tom gave a deep sigh of relief.

5 . FEELING/BELIEF a deep feeling, belief etc is very strong and sincere SYN profound :

May I express my deepest sympathy.

The letters show her deep affection for him.

He has a deep understanding of the environment.

6 . SOUND a deep sound is very low:

Her laugh was deep and loud.

I love that deep bass line.

7 . COLOUR a deep colour is dark and strong OPP light , pale :

She gazed at him with wide deep blue eyes.

The berries are a deep red colour.

8 . DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND important but complicated or difficult to understand:

These problems are too deep for me.

There is a deep issue of principle involved.

9 . SLEEP if someone is in a deep sleep, it is difficult to wake them:

He lay down and fell into a deep sleep.

10 . deep in thought/conversation etc thinking so hard or paying attention to something so much that you do not notice anything else that is happening around you

11 . deep in debt owing a lot of money

12 . a deep impression a strong effect or influence that remains for a long time:

What he said made a deep impression on me.

13 . PERSON a deep person is serious and intelligent, but is hard to know well:

Henry has always been a deep one. He keeps his views to himself.

14 . be in deep shit spoken not polite to be in a bad situation because of something you have done

15 . be in deep water to be in trouble or in a difficult or serious situation:

The company is in deep water over their refusal to reduce prices.

16 . BALL GAMES a deep ball is hit, thrown, or kicked to a far part of the sports field

17 . jump/be thrown in at the deep end to choose to do or be made to do a very difficult job without having prepared for it:

She decided to jump in at the deep end, buy a farm, and teach herself.

18 . go off at the deep end informal to become angry suddenly and violently, usually when there is not a good reason

• • •


■ voices/sounds that are not high

▪ low a low voice or sound is not high on the scale of musical sounds:

I can’t sing the low notes.


He’s got quite a low singing voice.


Boys’ voices usually become much lower as they get older.

▪ deep a deep voice or sound is low, strong, and pleasant:

He has a lovely deep voice.


The engine has a wonderfully deep sound to it, like it’s ready to race.

▪ husky a husky voice is deep, quiet, and rough-sounding, especially in a way that is attractive:

Monroe sang 'Happy Birthday, Mr President’ in a slow husky voice.


His voice dropped to a husky whisper.

▪ gravelly a gravelly voice is very low and rough sounding:

The singer is famous for his gravelly voice.

II. deep 2 W3 BrE AmE adverb

1 . [always + adverb/preposition] a long way into or below the surface of something:

Some bones were hidden deep beneath the ground.

The tunnel led deep under the mountains.

We were deep in a tropical rainforest (=far from the edge of the forest) .

Tom stared deep into her eyes.

They talked deep into the night (=very late) .

2 . deep down

a) if you know or feel something deep down, you secretly know or feel it even though you do not admit it:

He knew, deep down, that he would have to apologise.

b) if someone is good, evil etc deep down, that is what they are really like even though they usually hide it:

Deep down, she is a caring person.

3 . two/three etc deep if things or people are two deep, three deep etc, there are two, three etc rows or layers of things or people:

People were standing four deep at the bar.

4 . run/go deep if a feeling such as hatred or anger runs deep in someone, they feel it very strongly, especially because of something that has happened in the past:

The prejudice runs deep and we need to understand the fears behind it.

5 . be in (too) deep informal to be very involved in a situation, especially so that it causes you problems

⇨ still waters run deep at ↑ still 2 (5)

III. deep 3 BrE AmE noun

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ deep , ↑ depth ; adjective : ↑ deep , deepening; verb : ↑ deepen ; adverb : ↑ deeply ]

the deep literary the sea

• • •


■ dark colours

▪ dark used about a colour that is strong and fairly close to black:

a dark blue suit


His eyes are dark brown.

▪ deep fairly dark – often used when you think this colour looks attractive:

His eyes were a beautiful deep blue.


deep red lips

▪ rich used about a colour that is fairly dark in a way that gives a pleasant feeling of warmth:

The walls were painted a rich red colour.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.