depth S3 W3 /depθ/ BrE AmE noun
[ Word Family: noun : ↑ deep , ↑ depth ; adjective : ↑ deep , deepening; verb : ↑ deepen ; adverb : ↑ deeply ]
[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Origin: deep ]
1 . [countable usually singular, uncountable]
a) the distance from the top surface of something such as a river or hole to the bottom of it ⇨ deep :
a sea with an average depth of 35 metres
to/at a depth of something
The cave descends to a depth of 340 feet.
Plant the beans at a depth of about six inches.
a metre/foot etc in depth (=deep)
a channel of two feet in depth
b) the distance from the front to the back of an object:
The depth of the shelves is about 35 cm.
2 . [uncountable] how strong an emotion is or how serious a situation is
the depth of public feeling on this issue
People need to realize the depth of the problem.
3 . [uncountable]
a) ( also depths ) the quality of having a lot of knowledge, understanding, or experience
depth of knowledge/understanding/experience
I was impressed by the depth of her knowledge.
a man of great depth and insight
She’s quiet, but perhaps she has hidden depths.
b) when a lot of details about a subject are provided or considered:
Network news coverage often lacks depth.
The subject was discussed in great depth.
4 . be out of your depth
a) to be involved in a situation or activity that is too difficult for you to understand or deal with:
I felt completely out of my depth at the meeting.
b) British English to be in water that is too deep for you to stand in
5 . the depths of something when a bad feeling or situation is at its worst level:
She was in the depths of despair.
The country was recovering from the depths of recession.
6 . the depths of the ocean/countryside/forest etc the part that is furthest away from people, and most difficult to reach:
Astronomers may one day travel to the depths of space.
7 . the depths of winter the middle of winter, especially when it is very cold
8 . the depths literary the deepest parts of the sea