/ diːp; NAmE / adjective , adverb , noun
( deep·er , deep·est )
TOP TO BOTTOM
having a large distance from the top or surface to the bottom :
a deep hole / well / river
deep water / snow
FRONT TO BACK
having a large distance from the front edge to the furthest point inside :
a deep cut / wound
a deep space
used to describe or ask about the depth of sth :
The water is only a few inches deep.
How deep is the wound?
(in adjectives) as far up or down as the point mentioned :
The water was only waist-deep so I walked ashore.
(in adjectives) in the number of rows mentioned, one behind the other :
They were standing three-deep at the bar.
BREATH / SIGH
[ usually before noun ] taking in or giving out a lot of air :
She took a deep breath.
He gave a deep sigh.
I heard his deep warm voice filling the room.
a deep roar / groan
strong and dark :
a rich deep red
a person in a deep sleep is difficult to wake :
to be in a deep sleep / trance / coma
extreme or serious :
He's in deep trouble .
a deep economic recession
The affair had exposed deep divisions within the party.
a place of great power and of deep significance
SYN sincere :
a deep sense of loss
showing great knowledge or understanding :
a deep understanding
DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND
difficult to understand
SYN profound :
This discussion's getting too deep for me.
He pondered, as if over some deep philosophical point.
deep in sth fully involved in an activity or a state :
to be deep in thought / conversation
He is often so deep in his books that he forgets to eat.
The firm ended up deep in debt .
if a person is deep , they hide their real feelings and opinions :
She's always been a deep one, trusting no one.
to or from a position far down or across the field :
a deep ball from Beckham
—see also depth
- go off the deep end
- in deep water(s)
- jump / be thrown in at the deep end
—more at devil , shit noun
( deep·er , deep·est ) deep (below, into, under, etc.) a long way below the surface of sth or a long way inside or into sth :
The miners were trapped deep underground.
whales that feed deep beneath the waves
He gazed deep into her eyes.
They sat and talked deep into the night (= until very late) .
deep in the forest
He stood with his hands deep in his pockets.
- deep down
- go / run deep
—more at dig verb , still
[ sing. ] the deep ( literary ) the sea
deep / deeply
The adverbs deep and deeply can both mean 'a long way down or into something'. Deep can only mean this and is more common than deeply in this sense. It is usually followed by a word like into or below :
We decided to go deeper into the jungle.
Deeply usually means 'very much':
deeply in love
You can use deep down (but not deeply ) to talk about a person's real nature:
She can seem stern, but deep down she's a very kind person.
• She can seem stern, but deeply she's a very kind person.
Old English dēop (adjective), dīope , dēope (adverb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch diep and German tief , also to dip .