Date: 1300-1400
Origin: deep


depth S3 W3
1 [countable usually singular, uncountable]
a) TM 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) TM 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
depth of
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.

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

the depths of something

when a bad feeling or situation is at its worst level:
The country was recovering from the depths of recession.

the depths of the ocean/countryside/forest etc

DN the part that is furthest away from people, and most difficult to reach:
Astronomers may one day travel to the depths of space.

the depths of winter

TMC the middle of winter, especially when it is very cold

the depths

literary the deepest parts of the sea