Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: MEASUREMENT

Date: 1300-1400
Origin: deep

depth

noun
     
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.
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:
The country was recovering from the depths of recession.
6

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.
7

the depths of winter

TMC the middle of winter, especially when it is very cold
8

the depths

literary the deepest parts of the sea
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